Community land trusts are nonprofit, community-based organizations designed to ensure community stewardship of land. Community land trusts can be used for many types of development (including commercial and retail) but are primarily used to ensure long-term housing affordability. To do so, the trust acquires land and maintains ownership of it permanently.
With prospective homeowners, the trust enters into a long-term, renewable lease instead of a traditional sale. When the homeowner sells, the family earns only a portion of the increased property value. The remainder is kept by the trust, preserving the affordability for future low- to moderate-income families. The length of the lease (most frequently, 99 years) and the percentage earned by the homeowner vary.
Ultimately, by separating the ownership of land and housing, this innovative approach prevents market factors from causing prices to rise significantly, and hence guarantees that housing will remain affordable for future generations
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This video highlights a model of a Community Land Trust. (Start watching at 16:00)