CLT Resources and Contacts

Below are essays and background materials available online related to CLT and the role of land in the economic system.

Community Land Trust Essential Reading Materials

Think About Land by E. F. Schumacher.

"Land: Challenge and Opportunity" by Susan Witt and Robert Swann describes the role of the Natural Commons in a new economic system using the Community Land Trust as a tool. It discusses various uses of a Community Land Trust and how different community organizations can cooperate to effectively enable land and farmland preservation, initiate community land use planning and create affordable housing.    Online  |  PDF

The Community Land Trust: A Guide to a New Model for Land Tenure in America, written by Robert Swann et al is the first documentation of the CLT concept, originally published in 1972. Robert Swann discusses the evolution and historical precedents of land trusts.  

Online  |  PDF  


Community Land Trust Essays

Land Trusts as Part of a Threefold Economic Strategy for Regional Integration by Robert Swann 
Swann: Swann's threefold strategy includes land trusts, community development corporations and community money. Includes a discussion of key reasons why land trusts are advantageous in a strategy of regional decentralization.

Alternatives to Ownership: Land Trusts as Land Reform by Robert Swann: 
Short discussion of CLTs as a way to create long-lasting land reform. 

Land, Land Trusts and Employment by Robert Swann: 
Swann disputes Keynes' approach to economic management, and offers the land trust as a more effective vehicle for increasing employment in a region.


Community Land Trusts and Farmland

Group Effort Saves Nation's First CSA Farm by Susan Witt:
 The Nature Conservancy, the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, and two farmers form a partnership to save Indian Line Farm. 

A New Lease on Farmland by Susan Witt and Jay Rossier: 
Paper on how conservation land trusts and community land trusts can cooperate to save working farmland for working farmers.

Regional Responsibility for Farmland by Susan Witt:
 Clarifies the roles of the Land Trust in preserving farm land, and points to the potential for Community Land Trusts and Conservation Land Trusts to work together. 

Reclaiming Our Food by Indian Line Farm.


Community Land Trust Papers

New Agrarians: Local Innovators by Susan Witt
: Talk given in celebration of 25th anniversary of publication of Wendell Berry's Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.

Capitalism, the Commons, and Divine Right by Peter Barnes
: A look at the potential for expanding the role and the rights of the commons. Barnes suggests that commons should be held in trusts for the benefit of current and future generations, as a way of countering the power of the market and its search for short-term private profits.

Connecting for Change by Susan Witt
: Talk for Bioneers by the Bay, Marion, Mass

From Common Wealth to Common Property by Peter Barnes.

The CLT Model: A Tool for Permanently Affordable Housing and Wealth Generation by Gus Newport.

An Interview with Gus Newport by Susan Witt.

Urbanism at a Crossroads: An article from the Huffington Post by Aaron Bartlet, co-founder of People United for Sustainable Housing. Aaron discusses New Urbanism, community land trusts, municipal Land Banks, affordable housing, and community development.


Relevant Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures

Voices from White Earth: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag by Winona LaDuke:
 LaDuke, a member of the Mississippi Band of the Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation, is devoted to restoring the integrity of the White Earth Reservation by repurchasing land and holding it in a community land trust arrangement so that it may be productively used without fear of loss. 

The Wisdom That Builds Community by Greg Watson:
 Greg Watson tells the story of the Dudley Street Community Land Trust, which now supports hundreds of units of renovated owner-occupied homes, a productive greenhouse, locally-owned businesses, and reinvigorated neighborhood pride.


Contacts and Supportive Organizations

In addition to the Schumacher Center for New Economics, the following organizations can provide valuable support and education to those interested in the Community Land Trust model:


The National Community Land Trust Association is anewly formed organization designed to serve its member organizations. Its members offer a variety of experience and skills for development of community land trusts.


The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve the quality of public debate and decisions in the areas of land policy and land-related taxation through courses and its magazine Land Lines. Its work is inspired by the writings of Henry George, a pioneer in the study of the role of land in the economic system. The Lincoln Institute hosts the Community Land Trust Academy.


The National Housing Trust preserves and revitalizes affordable apartments to better the quality of life for the families and elderly who live there. Saving affordable housing is the essential first step in solving our nation’s housing dilemma. The Trust also maintains the website of the former Institute for Community Economics (ICE), a national community development organization promoting economic justice through community land trusts and community investment. 


The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) is a nonprofit community-based planning and organizing entity based in the Roxbury/North Dorchester area of Boston. DSNI is the only community-based nonprofit in the country which has been granted eminent domain authority over abandoned land within its boundaries.


The School of Living has long-supported the community land trust model.