The land trust movement in the United States has gained notoriety over the past 20 years mainly for its role in environmental conservation. Known as land conservancies, these non-profit organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy, acquire development rights or land in fee simple, in order to conserve natural resources by protecting land from development.
A lesser-known type of organization, a community land trust (CLT), uses similar legal tools in a very different way to accomplish very different objectives: the preservation of affordable housing, avoidance of gentrification and building of community wealth. The CLT movement began in the early 1970s
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