At the same time that calls grow on our public officials to support equitable affordable housing in Los Angeles, a growing number of people are also calling for increased support for Community Land Trusts (CLTs).
CLTs maintain community ownership--or shared stewardship--over land and housing in commitment to keep living or rental units atop the land permanently affordable for community members.
In a recent Town Hall for L.A. County Residents ( ) on CLTs, Matthew Vu, a resident of South Central Los Angeles and student at L.A.
Trade Tech, notes that CLTs require participation from homeowners and/or tenants, as well as other members of the community in their governing board meetings or governing structure.
Vu also notes that renters within areas covered by CLTs can work with CLTs to acquire a property together, facilitating the process of acquisition for tenants as well as the non-profit stewards.
And, according to Vu, CLTs are not new models, but modes of organizing with deep roots in the indigenous Americas, pre-colonial Africa, and even ancient China.
…turning nearly 6,000 acres of land into homesteads and agricultural and providing affordable housing for Black families on the land.
There are now up to 214 CLTs in the United States, twelve in California, and five in L.A. County.
Just this past June 2020, the city of San Francisco passed the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, providing local CLTs the opportunity to purchase buildings and take them off the market, keeping them affordable for low-income residents there.
And now, in an effort to create more for Community Land Trusts across Los Angeles County, which at 10 million residents is the largest in the U.S., L.A.'s local CLTS have formed a coalition and are urging communities to learn about the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act.
The L.A.
Community Land Trust Coalition ( ) (LACLTC) is an organization of L.A.'s local trusts, "committed to the preservation of low-income communities of color by decommodifying housing, promoting education, community empowerment, the conversion of tenants to…
…owners, and making housing a human right."
The Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is a proposed law that would give tenants in unincorporated areas of L.A. County the first opportunity to buy the building they live in if and when a building's owner decides to sell the property. Bringing TOPA to L.A.
is being advocated for by the LACLTC, which is composed of the five Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in L.A.
County, including: Beverly-Vermont ( )CLT (BVCLT) along the East Hollywood and Koreatown areas, El Sereno ( ) CLT (ESCLT) in the El Sereno community, T.R.U.S.T.
Want to learn more? Check out the TOPA Town Hall ( ) hosted by the T.R.U.S.T. and Liberty Community Land Trusts this past February.

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