World CLT Day

Published On: May 16th, 2024|Categories: Our Organization|

On May 17 and 18, community land trusts (CLTs) around the world will celebrate World CLT Day, an opportunity to acknowledge the worldwide community land trust movement and what it means for individuals and communities. You may know that Community Home Trust is a part of that community land trust movement – but do you know what that means? 

What is a community land trust?

According to Grounded Solutions Network, a national nonprofit organization promoting housing solutions for permanent affordability, “Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations governed by a board of CLT residents, community residents and public representatives that provide lasting community assets and shared equity homeownership opportunities for families and communities. CLTs develop rural and urban agriculture projects, commercial spaces to serve local communities, affordable rental and cooperative housing projects, and conserve land or urban green spaces. However, the heart of their work is the creation of homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities for generations of lower income families.” 

In the case of Community Home Trust, our mission is to deliver housing affordability to diverse populations in partnership with our communities. We do that by creating and acquiring homeownership and rental opportunities and then selling or renting them to qualified community members at affordable prices. When our homeowners sell their homes, they’re required to sell them back to us, which means we can resell them again at an affordable rate, keeping our homes affordable permanently since they’re never sold on the private market.  

Why a community land trust?

One of the unique and essential components of the community land trust movement is that CLTs improve outcomes not just for individual residents but also for the broader community. It’s true that our first-time homebuyers benefit from our housing prices; in fact, our homes typically sell for about half of market rate, which makes homeownership accessible to buyers who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Because of this, our homebuyers save money on monthly costs, like rent, and they have the opportunity to build generational wealth as homeowners. The individual impact our community land trust has on homebuyers’ lives is often relatively easy to measure and share.  

But the impact CLTs have on their communities can be more difficult to quantify. What’s unique about CLTs as an affordability model is the permanence. Our ground lease model stipulates that our owners must sell their homes back to us when they move. While our homeowners do earn some equity when they sell their homes back to us, we control the rate, which allows us to keep those homes affordable for the next buyer. A home in our inventory stays in our inventory forever and will never be sold on the private market or subject to market fluctuations. The effect of this model is that we improve affordability in our community overall by continuing to make affordable homeownership available to more first-time homebuyers. Unlike with other housing affordability models, in which a previously-affordable home might be sold on the private market and become just another unaffordable home, our homes stay affordable forever. This is a tremendous benefit to our community as it means that the dollars invested in making these homes affordable are reinvested again and again in making homeownership affordable to future residents. 

Furthermore, the fact that our homes stay in our inventory forever means that we’re deeply invested in ensuring they remain in good condition for future homebuyers. So we partner with our current homeowners to support them in making repairs and keeping up with general home maintenance. We do that in multiple ways, including offering free home maintenance classes and our stewardship program, which is a pooled fund of fees paid by all homeowners that helps cover expensive repairs like roofing and HVAC replacement. Through supports like these programs, we help our homeowners keep their homes affordable in the short term and we keep our housing inventory in great shape for future buyers in the long term. 

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about community land trusts (did you know they’ve been around for over 50 years?), visit World CLT Day’s website at Whether you’re a CHT resident or supporter, you’re not only part of making housing more affordable in North Carolina – you’re a member of a worldwide movement to steward and protect communities! Thanks for being part of our local AND global family! 

About World CLT Day: World CLT Day is a global event dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness about community land trusts (CLTs). It’s a day to connect participants from across the world, showcase the contributions of CLTs towards affordable housing, community empowerment, and sustainable development, and emphasize the movement’s commitment to inclusive growth and social change. The occasion serves as an opportunity to highlight the diverse and global presence of CLTs, sharing success stories and the positive impact of their work on communities worldwide. 

 Hosted by the International Center for Community Land Trusts alongside local, national, and regional CLT networks, this event honors CLTs as key drivers of affordable housing, community empowerment, and sustainable, inclusive growth through community land stewardship. World CLT Day offers a platform to spotlight the achievements and stories of the global CLT movement, highlighting the diverse faces and voices of our communities. Learn more about World CLT Day, explore highlights from previous years, and how you can participate at 

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