Friday, October 2, 2015
The Nation has a new story today entitled "Can Community Land Trusts Solve Baltimore's Homelessness Problem?" written by Michelle Chen. A community land trust (CLT) is a community-controlled nonprofit organization that holds land in perpetuity for the benefit of the local community. Typically, CLTs act as stewards of subsidized homes that they have built or rehabilitated. In areas where land values are high, CLTs can be an opportunity for low- and moderate-income residents to own homes that will also be affordable to similarly qualified future homebuyers.
Chen's article explores the possibilities for such a strong community stewardship model in the struggling inner-city neighborhoods of Baltimore. I think the piece can be interesting for students and others who wonder why aren't vacant houses being made available to the homeless, but it also leads the reader to make connections between the many components that make for a strong neighborhood.