South Baltimore CLT takes the lead from community members, especially local youth, who identified CLTs as a way to promote development without displacement and a just transition to zero waste in a neighborhood deeply impacted by environmental injustice, illegal dumping, and evictions. “To tackle these problems from the roots, the youth needed a team, a group that would be able to take in vacant land and turn it into affordable housing, thus creating ideas for what would be the South Baltimore Community Land Trust,” explained Carlos Sanchez, a high school sophomore and youth leader with South Baltimore CLT.
After forming in 2018, the South Baltimore CLT was one of three SHARE members to receive a $750,000 grant from the City of Baltimore earlier this year. The CLT plans to use the funds to support the development of its first homes, which will use passive design to lower energy costs and be affordable to homeowners at or below 50% AMI. The SHARE network has also secured a verbal commitment of $200,000 for its capacity-building work, and is working with the city to dedicate publicly owned land for CLTs. “We can’t do anything without access to land,” said Thomas. “We need to be able to have access to that land just as these other developers are able to do. We know what we need, and we want to be part of the development that we’re seeing around us.”