Put vacancy to work: community land trust opportunities

By now you’ve heard all about the ways a municipal land bank could work in Philadelphia. But what about community land trusts?

In other cities, land banks and community land trusts (CLTs) are complementary tools that enable communities literally take ownership of vacant properties in their midst. CLTs acquire (often through a land bank) and manage properties, which can then be strategically developed for uses that benefit existing residents – from lasting affordable housing to stable ground for urban agriculture.

Philadelphia already has land trusts, including the Neighborhood Gardens Association (active in community-garden preservation since 1986), and the fairly new Community Justice Land Trust started by the Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP).

WCRP started their CLT after conducting a vacant land study for the Eastern North Philadelphia neighborhoods where they work, thanks to funding from the Oak Foundation. And now the Oak Foundation wants WCRP to help other community organizations do the same kind of work in other neighborhoods. Later this year WCRP will provide financial and technical assistance for community organizations and CDCs to conduct neighborhood land use plans and develop community land trusts.

To learn more about CLTs and the technical assistance grants, join WCRP for an information session on Tuesday, June 26 at 5:30pm at the Center for Architecture (1216 Arch Street). Then, on July 17 and 18 there is a two-part training session that will be required for groups interested in applying for the CLT technical assistance grant, which will be awarded in the fall. RSVP to both events by calling (215) 628-5550.


For more info, check out this CLT event flyer [pdf] or call WCRP at 215-628-5500.

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