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Community Land Trusts: Performance and Relevance for Aotearoa New Zealand

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Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are a growing response to the provision of affordable housing.

They are very diverse but all incorporate three elements:
Community – most often place-based in which the delivering of continuously affordable housing is guided by the local community;
Land – removing the land permanently from the market-place; and
Trust – usually a non-profit organisation with the aim of providing affordable housing and preserving affordability into the future.
CLTs have the potential to respond to the immediate crisis of a lack of reasonable quality, affordable housing for low-income families and key workers and sustain people in their homes for generations.

The report looks to identify, from the policy and research literature, how CLTs perform in practice. The report introduces various approaches used to develop and support the growth of CLTs in the UK, the US and Western Europe. For example, a network-based growth approach is used in the UK across a number of small-scale CLTs, in contrast to the US where pressures for growth result in up-scaling of each CLT (size and locational spread).

All of the case studies involve start-up funding, subsidy or gift of land; institutional support; and appropriate legal and financial structures and funding sources, to overcome implementation barriers. CLTs have delivered positive benefits across urban regeneration projects; have mitigated some of the negative impacts of gentrification and of market uncertainty and volatility; have made good use of publicly-owned land for affordable housing; have provided pathways to ownership opportunities; and have engaged residents and supported community capacity building.

The relevance of the CLT model for Aotearoa New Zealand is considered via lessons that can be learned including legislation and funding, institutional frameworks to support the growth of the sector; its potential for housing and urban development policies and for local government’s policies and plans.

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