The San Francisco Community Land Trust is a membership-based, non-profit dedicated to creating " permanently affordable, resident-controlled housing for low- to moderate-income people (up to 120% AMI) in San Francisco through community ownership of the land."  The San Francisco Community Land Trust was incorporated in 2003.  The Land Trust grew out of earlier efforts to form a San Francisco Community Land Trust Collaborative in 2001.

A land trust is a legal entity that allows a non-profit agency or third party to have ownership of a piece of land for purposes of conservation (or alternatively for immense private benefit).  A community land trust (CLT) is a model of affordable housing that provides for rent stabilization and resident governance and eventual resident equity.  The community land trust model has it's origins in post-colonial India, and was later imported into the United States in order to help poor African American families with housing.  While CLTs have long been popular in American midwest and suburbia, the Bay Area has been leading the development of these models in dense multi-family urban areas.

How it works

Under the CLT model, a Land Trust organization first pools together funds, most often available in the form of government backed affordable home loans.  These funds are then used to buy out a house or apartment complex.  After the house acquisition has occurred, residents of the building will form a non-profit and acquire a lease from the land trust.  This structure provides for rent stabilization, guaranteeing residents displacement free housing.  Some land trust structures also allow for resident equity and eventual buyout.

In San Francisco, this model has been attempted in large collective houses, apartment complexes, and commercial historical real estate.

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