World CLT Day 2021
Our take on the state of the region

Remembering the Roots of Community Land Trusts

Author: Bob Allen

Tomorrow, people around the world will celebrate World Community Land Trust Day. Born out of the struggles of Black Southern farmers during the Civil Rights Movement, community land trusts (CLTs) have proven to be one of the most transformative tools communities have to prevent displacement, democratize decision-making, and equitably manage land. As the housing crisis deepens in the Bay Area and nationally, CLTs should be at the center of any housing justice agenda.

But any discussion of CLTs must begin by addressing the demands for Landback made by indigenous communities. We need to ensure that efforts to build permanently affordable homes include returning land and housing to the stewardship of indigenous communities. We can’t achieve housing justice without this commitment.

Urban Habitat is building stronger infrastructure to support the growth of community land trusts to ensure permanent affordability. Regionally, we launched the People’s Land and Housing Alliance to support the Bay Area movement for permanent affordability. Locally, we seeded the development of the Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition (VHJC) to fight for housing justice in a community increasingly targeted by corporate landlords.

Urban Habitat, VHJC, and our partners at BARHII and the Northern California Land Trust are launching Vallejo Community Land Trust (VCLT). Community institutions like VCLT are essential in the fight for housing, racial, and environmental justice, and in ensuring an equitable recovery from the pandemic. You can learn about VCLT and CLTs generally at tonight’s information session.