What is the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust?
The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) is a Community Land Trust in Parkdale led by a group of residents and organizations trying to protect the social, cultural and economic diversity of Parkdale by redefining how land is used and developed.
What is a Community Land Trust (CLT)?
A Community Land Trusts (CLT) is a non-profit, community-based organizations that treat land as a public good. A CLT owns land and works to ensure it is used in ways that benefit the community. Land, which can include green space, commercial properties and affordable housing, is owned and controlled by the community and is made permanently affordable.
Why Parkdale? Why now?
Parkdale is changing rapidly. This change is not inherently good or bad, but it raises important questions about affordability, diversity, and community assets in Parkdale. How can we ensure that everyone, particularly those with fewer resources and lower incomes, benefit from these changes? This is the key question PNLT seeks to address.
How does a CLT work?
A CLT is a democratic, member controlled organization, that is locally driven. Members elect a volunteer board, which includes equal representation from three groups: those directly using or residing on CLT land (tenants, organizations, businesses); residents and community organizations in the surrounding community; and other stakeholders or public representatives. This “tripartite” model ensures equal representation of varied interests and expertise within the CLT itself.
Who can be a member?
Membership is usually open to anyone who lives or works within the defined community.
Where does land come from? Who owns it? Who owns the land?
Land acquisition can occur through donations or purchases. Currently, PNLT is working with community partners to identify opportunities to finance and acquire its first land holding. Going forward, PNLT intents to work with developers and/or housing providers that will manage buildings and assets.
What kinds of benefits can the CLT bring to communities like Parkdale?
- The CLT is locally driven, controlled and democratically accountable, so they address the unique needs of local communities in areas including housing, commercial and green space
- The CLT can meet housing need for low income residents even in areas with rising house costs
- The CLT can minimize displacement of residents and businesses that are facing financial pressures related to neighbourhood change
- The CLT ensures long-term affordability of land and assets, benefitting many generations of residents
- The CLT can protect public investment in affordable housing stock that is currently at risk
Where are CLTs being used successfully?
CLTs have been proven widely successful in large cities in the US that are facing similar growth and development pressures to Toronto. Examples include Dudley Street Neighbourhood Initiative in Boston, Cooper Square in New York City, TRUST South LA, East London CLT, and the San Francisco Community Land Trust.