Building Collaboration among Community Land Trusts Providing Affordable Housing and Conservation Land Trusts Protecting Land for Ecological Value
Katie Michels and David A. Hindin
The community land trust and conservation land trust movements are each advancing longterm, beneficial uses of land for public needs. Community land trusts primarily focus on obtaining land for affordable housing while conservation land trusts focus on using land for ecological, open space, scenic, agricultural, and/or recreational purposes. The idea for these two movements to leverage their strengths and expand their effectiveness by working together has been suggested in the past, but joint projects and organizations that span both sets of purposes are not common. Such collaboration is imperative today given the intersecting challenges of climate change, affordable housing shortages, loss of biodiversity, and racial injustice. In 2022, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy brought representatives from conservation and community land trusts and other stakeholders together to explore the topic of collaboration. This Working Paper reviews: reasons why these groups could and should collaborate; values that center equity in collaborative efforts; hurdles to collaboration; examples of joint efforts; and most importantly, pathways to advancing collaborative efforts.