Roots of the CLT

Origins and Evolution of the Community Land Trust in the United States

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Chapter One

Chapter One provides a general introduction to what has come to be known in the United States as the “classic CLT.” Described here are those characteristics of ownership, organization, and operation that distinguish the CLT from more familiar models of affordable housing and community development.
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Chapter Two

Chapter Two examines ideas, pioneers, and precedents behind the CLT’s distinctive approach to the OWNERSHIP of land and buildings. Explored here are the model’s roots in the single tax movement of Henry George, the Garden Cities of England, and various intentional communities in the United States inspired by Ralph Borsodi and Arthur Morgan.
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Chapter Three

Chapter Three introduces the people who put the “C” in the CLT, giving rise to the model’s distinctive approach to ORGANIZATION. Explored here are the model’s roots in the Civil Rights Movement in the American South and the Gramdan Movement in India, accompanied by profiles of the men and women behind the first CLT, New Communities Inc.
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Chapter Four

Chapter Four traces the changing meaning of the “T” in CLT, as the OPERATION of community land trusts became increasingly focused in the 1980s on serving the poor, revitalizing urban neighborhoods, and preserving the affordability, condition, and security of resale-restricted, owner-occupied housing.