FY2020 Community Land Trust Initiative Mid-Year Report

FY2020 Community Land Trust Initiative Mid-Year Report

  • Post author:
  • Post category:enyclt

The citywide Community Land Trust (CLT) Initiative supports development of CLTs to create and preserve permanently-affordable housing, as well as commercial, community, and green spaces, in NYC neighborhoods. In FY2020, City Council discretionary funding providing crucial support for grassroots CLT education and organizing, as well as incubation and technical support.



FY2020 highlights to date include:

CHHAYA CDC has conducted one-on-one outreach to immigrant small business owners in Jackson Heights, about CLTs as a tool to preserve affordable retail space. Chhaya staff participated in a Boston site visit to learn more about mixed-use CLTs, and will engage stakeholders in CLT planning and a Queens CLT Study Group, in the coming months.

COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS is finalizing a governance structure for the BROWNSVILLE CLT, and convened the Brownsville Neighborhood Empowerment Network (BNEN) — comprised of local residents, including youth — to lead strategic planning and community outreach. BNEN held eight CLT planning meetings and two community workshops, so far, and helped enroll 70 Brownsville residents in Housing Connect.

COOPER SQUARE CLT, which stewards 21 buildings with 380 deeply-affordable housing units, is in the process of acquiring two rent-stabilized buildings in the Lower East Side and converting them into one HDFC. The CLT hired a Project Director and is hiring a Community Organizer, and

CITY COLLEGE is conducting one-on-one needs assessments with emerging CLTs to develop tailored community outreach and education materials, organizing tenants, recruiting board members, and drafting renovation plans in connection with those acquisitions.

CYPRESS HILLS LDC has hired a full-time CLT coordinator, who has presented to local community boards and led two community CLT information sessions, with three more scheduled throughout the spring. The CLT will focus on preventing displacement and foreclosures in East New York. Cypress Hills has also begun recruiting leaders for a CLT steering committee, to be convened in April 2020, and staff traveled to Boston to learn from CLT governance models and community engagement at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

EAST HARLEM EL BARRIO CLT is finalizing the transfer of four HPD-owned multifamily buildings, with closing projected for early 2020. The CLT has partnered with Banana Kelly CIA to renovate the properties and form a resident-governed Mutual Housing Association, and is hiring a full-time organizer to support community engagement and leadership development. The CLT also added three new members to its board, and traveled to Boston to learn from youth organizing and creative place making at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

MOTT HAVEN PORT MORRIS COMMUNITY LAND STEWARDS has partnered with Hester Street Collaborative to develop a project summary and financial feasibility study for the CLT’s proposed Health, Education and Arts (H.E.ARTS) Center, at the vacant Lincoln Hospital Detox Building. The CLT hosted its third annual H.E.ARTS festival to celebrate and mobilize community members and unveil a community mural in September 2019, and held a public launch for its H.E.ARTS project summary in January 2020.

As coordinators of the CLT Initiative, NEW ECONOMY PROJECT has provided programmatic, legal and administrative support to emerging and expanding CLTs. New Economy has conducted 15 CLT presentations and workshops to over 350 stakeholders, including CBOs’ staff and members, tenants, homeowners, and public officials. Staff also organized CLT site visits to Boston for 10 local groups; and co- organized the Affordable for Whom housing justice convening, focused on strategies to advance CLTs and deeply, permanently-affordable housing.

NORTHFIELD LDC has engaged Burlington Associates as consultants
to develop a CLT governance model and financial feasibility analysis and plans to convene a CLT Steering Committee of key stakeholders in Port Richmond and Mariners Harbor. The Steering Committee will draw on an intensive community planning process that Northfield led as part of its Brownfield Opportunity Area Study. The study resulted in a formal revitalization plan, with affordable housing identified as a primary focus for revitalization efforts.

NORTHWEST BRONX COMMUNITY AND CLERGY COALITION hired a part-time CLT organizer; recruited neighborhood leaders to a CLT steering committee; and finalized incorporation of the Bronx CLT with support from TakeRoot Justice attorneys. The Bronx CLT’s founding board is identifying potential developer partners and exploring acquisition opportunities. NWBCCC has also engaged 100 community members in CLT workshops, coordinated youth-led participatory property research, and sent four CLT steering committee members and one staff member to Boston for peer-

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, INC. DBA TAKEROOT JUSTICE has provided 13 technical assistance engagements so far, on transactional legal matters related to CLT and HDFC incorporation and bylaws, and next steps for CLT formation and acquisitions. The Takeroot team also supported Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition in finalizing its incorporation of the Bronx CLT.

WE STAY/NOS QUEDAMOS is working with City College to develop a community survey to identify CLT priorities and opportunities. They will focus on community and tenant outreach to develop CLT leaders in Melrose, in the coming months.

In November 2019, 19 CLT staff and board members representing 10 organizations travelled to Boston to learn from their efforts to expand permanently affordable housing and mixed-use CLTs in a hot market city, and establish a citywide CLT collaborative. We attended the Greater Boston CLT Network Convening, and visited the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and the Urban Farming Institute CLTs to deepen our understanding of CLTs as an anti-displacement and economic development strategy. We look forward to hosting members of the Greater Boston CLT Network in NYC, and visiting more mission-aligned CLTs in the region this spring.

Participating organizations included: Boston Tenant Coalition, Boston Neighborhood CLT, Chhaya CDC, Chinatown CLT, City College, Cypress Hills LDC, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Dudley Neighbors, Inc., East Harlem El Barrio CLT, Green Roots, Inc., Hester Street Collaborative, Highland Park CLT, Mott Haven Port Morris Community Land Stewards, New Economy Project, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, Reclaim Roxbury, Somerville CLT, Take Root Justice, Urban Farming Institute, and We Stay-Nos Quedamos.