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Seeding Change, Cultivating Tomorrow: Co-op sector participates in first Community Land Trust Summit

Published November 08, 2023

The Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts held their inaugural Community Land Trust Summit: “Seeding Change, Cultivating Tomorrow” on October 20-21.

Ami Patel, CHF Canada’s Director of Development and Diana Yoon, Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations were grateful to represent the co-op housing sector alongside regional federations, and share space with over 150 delegates from coast to coast who are stewarding permanently affordable housing on community-owned land.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, a community land trust (CLT) is a “community-led, non-profit organization that owns land and puts it to use for community benefit”. Community land trusts can be used for many things, such as agriculture, community gardens and community facilities, but most predominantly, CLTs can acquire housing to keep it permanently affordable and keep decision-making in the hands of the community.

Housing co-ops can be, and have been, connected to the community land trust movement. This was the focus of the first panel on Friday “Expanding Co-op Housing through CLTs”, moderated by CHF Canada’s Ami Patel.

The panel featured BC’s Community Land Trust Foundation (which is owned by CHF BC),the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto and Champlain Housing Trust. The Community Land Trust of British Columbia focuses on preserving and expanding co-operative and non-profit housing now and into the future, serving as the real estate development arm of CHF BC. All three panelists spoke to how the land trust model can encourage growth of the co-op housing sector by owning and leasing land for long-term community benefit.

Topics at the CLT Summit ranged from Indigenous self-determination (land back) as a central tenet of reclaiming land for community ownership, to financing community land trusts and acquisition funding programs, as well as sustainable buildings and racial justice. See the full program here, and feel free to contact us.

We look forward to building relationships with community land trusts, to preserve permanently affordable homes and expand co-op housing where possible.

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