The Community Land Trust Reader

Author +
Edited by John Emmeus Davis

Year: 2010

The community land trust is an innovative form of tenure that combines common ownership of land with individual ownership of any buildings that are located upon that land. It first appeared in the United States forty years ago. An outgrowth of the southern Civil Rights Movement, the community land trust (CLT) was conceived originally as a mechanism for African-American farmers to gain access to agricultural land. It soon found many other uses, including affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.

It soon spread to urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the country. There are now over 200 CLTs in 44 states and the District of Columbia. They are appearing in other countries as well, with CLTs being developed in Canada, England, Scotland, and Australia.

The Community Land Trust Reader brings together for the first time the seminal texts that inspired and defined the CLT. Selections trace the intellectual origins of an eclectic model of tenure that was shaped by the social theories of Henry George, Ebenezer Howard, Ralph Borsodi, and Arthur Morgan and by social experiments like the Garden Cities of England and the Gramdan villages of India.

The Community Land Trust Reader does not look only to the past, however. Many of its 46 essays and excerpts examine contemporary applications of the CLT in promoting homeownership, spurring community development, protecting public investment, and capturing land gains for the common good. The Reader also looks ahead to challenges and opportunities likely to affect the future development of CLTs, here and abroad.

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Table of Contents

PART ONE Precursors
Origins and Evolution of the Community Land Trust in the United States (2010)
John Emmeus Davis
Toward a Property Ethic of Stewardship: A Religious Perspective (2000)
Peter W. Salsich, Jr.
FROM Social Problems (1886)
Henry George
FROM Garden Cities of To- Morrow (1902)
Ebenezer Howard
FROM Utopian England: Community Experiments 1900–1945 (2000)
Dennis Hardy
A Delaware Delight: The Oasis Called Arden (1992)
Henry Wiencek
FROM Gandhi Today: A Report on Mahatma Gandhi’s Successors (1987)
Mark Shepard
FROM The Community Land Trust: A Guide to a New Model for Land Tenure in America (1972)
International Independence Institute
PART TWO Prophets & Pioneers
FROM The Small Community: Foundation of Democratic Life (1942)
Arthur E. Morgan
The Possessional Problem (1978)
Ralph Borsodi
Plowboy Interview: Dr. Ralph Borsodi (1974)
Mother Earth News
Ralph Borsodi, 1886–1977: Prophet of Decentralism (1978)
Bob Swann
Ralph Borsodi’s Principles for Homesteaders (1978)
Mildred Loomis
FROM Peace, Civil Rights, and the Search for Community: An Autobiography (2001)
Robert Swann
FROM The Community Land Trust: A Guide to a New Model for Land Tenure in America (1972)
International Independence Institute
FROM The Community Land Trust Handbook: An Interview with Charles Sherrod (1982)
Institute for Community Economics
Stories from an Appalachian Community (2000)
Marie Cirillo
PART THREE Definitions & Purposes
FROM The Community Land Trust: A Guide to a New Model for Land Tenure in America (1972)
International Independence Institute
FROM The Community Land Trust Handbook (1982)
Institute for Community Economics
Federal Definition of “Community Land Trust” (1992)
United States Federal Register
FROM Development without Displacement: Organizational and Operational Choices in Starting a Community Land Trust (2006)
John Emmeus Davis
Bob Swann: An Interview (1992)
Kirby White
Speech to the Opening Plenary Session of the National CLT Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2000)
Chuck Matthei
PART FOUR Affordable Housing
CLTs: A Growing Trend in Affordable Home Own ership (2008)
Julie Farrell Curtin and Lance Bocarsly
Diminishing Returns: A Critical Look at Subsidy Recapture (1994)
Helen S. Cohen
Deed Restrictions and Community Land Trust Ground Leases: Two Methods of Establishing Affordable Homeownership Restrictions (2006)
David Abromowitz and Kirby White
City Hall Steps In: Local Governments Embrace Community Land Trusts (2007)
Rick Jacobus and Michael Brown
Community Land Trust Keeps Prices Affordable—For Now and Forever (2008)
Daniel Fireside
No Foreclosures Here (2009)
Holly Sklar
PART FIVE Beyond Housing
Land Trusts as Part of a Threefold Economic Strategy for Regional Integration (1978)
Robert Swann
Reallocating Equity: A Land Trust Model of Land Reform (1984)
John Emmeus Davis
U.S. Land Reform Movements: The Theory Behind the Practice (1992)
Chuck Matthei
The Value of Land in Economics (1993)
Chuck Matthei
Community and Conservation Land Trusts as Unlikely Partners?The Case of Troy Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin (2003)
Marcia Caton Campbell and Danielle A. Salus
Troy Gardens: The Accidental Ecovillage (2010)
Greg Rosenberg
FROM Preserving Farms for Farmers (2009)
Kirby White
PART SIX Beyond the United States
Reviving Community Own ership in En gland: CLTs are Ready to Take Over the Land (2009)
Jennifer Aird
Fertile Ground for CLT Development in Australia (2009)
Louise Crabtree
Community-Based Land Reform: Lessons from Scotland and Reflections on Stewardship (2009)
John Bryden and Charles Geisler
PART SEVEN Beyond the Horizon
Low- Income Homeownership: American Dream or Delusion? (2006)
Anne B. Shlay
The Case for Plan B (2007)
Tim McKenzie
FROM The City–CLT Partnership: Municipal Support for Community Land Trusts (2008)
John Emmeus Davis and Rick Jacobus
Sharing the Wealth of the Commons (2004)
Peter Barnes
Givings: The Flip Side of Takings (2005)
David Morris
The Challenge of Perpetuity (2010)
James M. Libby, Jr.
Homes That Last: The Case for Counter- Cyclical Stewardship (2008)
John Emmeus Davis
Selected Bibliography
About the Authors
About the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy