community land trusts

NYC needs transformative, community-led solutions to our city’s affordability crisis that advance racial equity and a just recovery. I am pleased to testify in support of Intro 1977, the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), and Intro 118-A, to establish a municipal land bank. Passage of these bills will give communities–and the City, itself–new tools to keep New Yorkers safely housed, expand community land trusts and social housing, and curb speculation in the wake of COVID-19. We thank Council Member Rivera and Council Member Lander for their leadership and urge the Committee to advance this critical legislation.

We urge the Council not to introduce legislation reauthorizing the tax lien sale, and work with community partners, including community land trusts (CLTs), to develop an alternative and equitable system to address property tax arrears and, when appropriate, property disposition. The City’s practice of selling municipal debt to a private, investor-backed trust fuels speculation and displacement in Black and brown neighborhoods, siphoning wealth from communities disproportionately harmed by historic inequities like redlining and disinvestment, and now hardest hit by COVID-19…

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This memo, prepared with partners at the New York City Community Land Initiative, City College of New York, and TakeRoot Justice, provides a brief introduction to CLTs and proposes alternatives to the lien sale that prioritize CLTs, in partnership with mission-driven, nonprofit developers, as both resources for vulnerable homeowners and recipients of foreclosed properties.

From coast to coast, a growing number of community land trusts (CLTs) are creating deeply-affordable housing, preventing displacement, and advancing self-determination in Black and brown communities. As the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates racial and economic inequality, and leaves millions at risk of eviction and homelessness, this work is more urgent than ever.

As the Mayor and City Council finalize next year’s City budget, we are fighting to make sure Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are included! Join us in calling for renewed funding of the citywide CLT initiative, to support community control over land and housing. In the wake of COVID-19, community control of land is more critical than […]