The Production of Community in Community Land Trusts

Richard Kruger*, James DeFilippis, Olivia R. Williams, Azadeh Hadizadeh Esfahani, Deborah G. Martin, Joseph Pierce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the ways notions of community are produced and understood by homeowners/ members, staff, and board members of eight Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in the state of Minnesota. The CLT model utilizes a mixed property regime that ensures the permanent affordability of land to make it accessible to low-income people. In most cases, CLT land is made up of noncontiguous parcels spread across a neighborhood or municipality, embedded in an existing landscape of geographic and social communities. CLTs have been lauded as agents in and for community control of urban land tenure, yet there has been little scholarship on what exactly “community” means to those involved. This article addresses this gap through an analysis of the empirical findings of a three-year study of CLTs in Minnesota in which participants were asked to think through how they conceptualized the community in the CLTs they were a part of. Our findings show that little sense of community exists among the CLT homeowners we interviewed. Despite this, CLT homeowners did feel a sense of community in their relationships with CLT staff members, and, interestingly, expressed a feeling of (imagined) community with future CLT homeowners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-655
Number of pages18
JournalCity and Community
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by a National Science Foundation Grant
Funding Information:
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences. Grant Number: GSS‐1359826


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