Community Land Trust handbook

Posted by on March 18, 2005

A Community Land Trust is a form of common land ownership with a charter based on the principles of sustainable and ecologically sound stewardship and use. The central principle of the Community Land Trust is that homes, barns, fences, gardens, and all things done with or on the land should be owned by the individuals creating them, but the land itself–a limited community resource–should be owned by the community as a whole.

The legal framework for Community Land Trusts is well established, providing a way for concerned citizens, working together, to create solutions to the problem of the high cost of land for affordable housing, farming, and local businesses in their region.

Since 1980 the E. F. Schumacher Society has assisted Community Land Trust initiatives around the country, including the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires. As part of this process, Schumacher staff members have developed a how-to handbook for Community Land Trust organizers. The handbook contains background materials and model legal documents used in the innovative community partnership to save Indian Line Farm, the first Community Supported Agriculture farm in the US, and in the creation of Forest Row, a neighborhood of eighteen homes clustered in a mix of multiple and single units on twenty-one acres in Great Barrington. The E. F. Schumacher Society’s office and Library are located on a third site held by the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires on the slopes of Jug End Mountain.

We are pleased to announce that this handbook can now be accessed online at These documents should be reviewed by a lawyer in your own region before using, but they serve as an important blueprint for action.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.