Community land trusts (CLTs) have been around for less than 50 years, although their roots are much older.  Precursors to the modern-day CLT can be found in the Garden Cities of England, the Gramdan Movement of India, and the moshav communities of Israel, as well as in many of the single tax colonies and planned, leased-land communities created in the Unites States in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

The nonprofit organization generally credited with being the “first CLT,” New Communities, Inc., was founded in southwest Georgia in 1969, a product of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.  A decade later, only a handful of CLTs were operational in the United States, all of them in rural areas.  The first urban CLT did not appear until 1980. Another 20 years passed before the number, variety, and dispersion of CLTs had reached the point where it was fair to speak of a CLT “movement.” Today, there are over 260 CLTs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  The model has begun spreading to other countries as well, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, and France.

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