Recent Community Land Trust articles

Kristen A. Hackett, Deshonay Dozier, Mariya Marinova. 2019. “Community land trusts: releasing possible selves through stable affordable housing.” Housing Studies 34(1): 24-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2018.1428285

Housing affordability – a long-standing issue for low-income households – is crucial for the flourishing of both households and communities. When housing is unaffordable, households struggle to attain and maintain housing, which negatively effects household well-being. Since the foreclosure crisis, community land trusts (CLTs) have emerged as a viable housing policy. Relying on quantitative and qualitative data collected by a Minneapolis-based CLT, this study examines the experiences of 91 CLT homeowners. Our analysis illustrates how the CLT’s institutional framework alters the political, economic, social and material relations that characterize the lives of these households to facilitate the provision of previously unavailable resources. Beyond indefinitely stabilizing households, this new arrangement of relations creates a foundation for the cultivation of ontological security and contributes to the opening up of possibilities and the unfolding of life in ways not previously possible.

Deborah G. Martin, Azadeh Hadizadeh Esfahani, Olivia R. Williams, Richard Kruger, Joseph Pierce, James DeFilippis. 2020. “Meanings of limited equity homeownership in community land trusts.” Housing Studies 35(3): 395-414. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2019.1603363

Discourses regarding homeownership in the United States emphasize housing as an economic investment. This focus fosters a number of problems, including inflated housing values, increased segregation, economic divisions, and the foreclosure crisis. Community land trusts (CLTs) put land in a non-profit trust to keep it affordable long-term. We examine CLTs as affordable housing organizations where individual residents own homes in the trust and lease the land underneath from the CLT. Interviews of CLT homeowners and staff in Minnesota, USA, show that the use value of CLT housing creates opportunities for different life choices. CLT homeowners cite stability and autonomy as the primary benefits of homeownership. They expressed newfound confidence and freedom to pursue personal goals and live less restricted lives after moving into CLT homes, a finding also emphasized by CLT staff. Limited equity housing such as CLTs can both reinforce dominant meanings of homeownership as providing security and autonomy, while also fostering access and affordability for low-income residents.

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