Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Advocates Tout Community Land Trusts for Solutions to Displacement, Blight

Community land trusts are a favorite tool of advocates who want to take a communitarian approach to property and public space in cities facing the challenges of population decline, blight, and gentrification.
August 27, 2017, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Rowhouses on Madison Street in Baltimore.
Baltimore Heritage

Kevon Paynter reports on the advocacy efforts in support of community land trusts as a solution for the threat of displacement in the threat of gentrification in many formerly blighted neighborhoods in the city of Baltimore.

"Community groups in Baltimore believe land trusts could be the way to keep families living affordably in a fast-gentrifying city," writes Paynter, before introducing the concept of community land trusts and also examining in context of the Baltimore neighborhood of McElderry Park.

The experiences of McElderry Park and others around the city have led advocates to coalesce behind the cause of the United Not Blighted campaign, which wants the city to invest $40 million in community land trusts. Mayor Catherine Pugh has the power to add the funding to the city budget, and, according to Paynter, the goal is a plausible one. There are already two community land trusts in operation in the city, including the Amazing Port Street Project in East Baltimore, which have created a track record of success for the model in the city.

Finally, Paynter frames community land trusts as a solution not just to affordable housing in the face of gentrification, but also of blight in neighborhoods dotted with vacant properties.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in Yes! Magazine
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email