Community Land Trusts – Rooted in the Civil Rights Movement

The Hannibal Square Community Land Trust was established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit, member-based corporation in Winter Park, Florida in November 2004. Dedicated to creating and preserving the quality and affordability of housing within Winter Park and other Central Florida communities, we provide opportunities for low, very low and moderate-income families to secure housing that is controlled by the residents on a long-term basis.  

To achieve its goals, the Land Trust obtains real property which it then leases to qualified buyers on a 99-year ground lease. The buyer is able to buy a home, removing the often-prohibitive cost of the land from the equation. This creative approach to home ownership is modeled on the nationally successful land trust movement, an increasingly popular way to ensure that communities maintain a diverse mix of housing opportunities.

Hannibal Square Community Land Trust is a nonprofit corporation that holds community land in common. Homeowners can purchase and improve homes built on this common land. While these homes can appreciate in value, benefiting the homeowner, a pre-agreed formula prevents the home from getting too expensive for ordinary families to afford them.

To learn more, please watch our video below.

What is a
Community Land Trust

A community land trust is a nonprofit, community-based organization that works to provide permanently affordable homeownership opportunities. A CLT acquires land and removes it from the speculative, for-profit, real estate market. CLTs hold the land they own “in trust” forever for the benefit of the community.

A community land trust provides access to homeownership for people who cannot afford homes for sale on the competitive real estate market. CLTs provide greater housing security than renting. CLT residents benefit from stable monthly payments, security from eviction, and the opportunity to build equity through homeownership.

Like all nonprofits, CLTs follow local laws and zoning requirements. They also follow the organizational bylaws put in place when the CLT was established. CLTs are governed by a board of directors that is made up of community members and CLT homeowners. Members of the CLT elect the board of directors.

There are over 200 communities that are currently operating CLTs in the United States.

Benefits of Purchasing Your Home Through
A Community Land Trust


Consistent housing payments allow the homeowner to build equity and receive federal tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes


Land trust homes are more affordable than Homes purchased on the open real estate market


Homeownership provides stable housing costs and security from eviction. With this stability, some CLT homeowners have gone back to school and pursued better jobs


CLT homebuyers have the support of CLT staff for as long as they own their homes. CLTs provide a wide array of support to CLT homeowners – from informational newsletters to hands-on home improvement workshops. CLTs are also available to help CLT homeowners in dealing with financial problems and foreclosure prevention


The 99-year Ground Lease ensures that CLT homeowners will have the support of the land trust community. CLT homebuyers are part of this larger community – they can choose to participate in the CLT community through voting, volunteering, and becoming a CLT board member

Nearly 900 of  America’s Land trusts

  • Helped protect 2.7 million acres own 437,000 acres
  • Hold conservation easements on another 450,000 acres
  • Have acquired, protected, and transferred 668,000 acres to other organizations and agencies
  • Have used other direct methods to help protect another 1,159,000 acres

Well known areas protected by land trusts include land on the California coast at Big Sur; in the San Juan Islands, Washington State; at Jackson Hole, Wyoming; along the Appalachian Trail; in New York’s Adirondacks; and at Acadia National Park in Maine.

How a
Land Trust Works

Buyers who purchase through a CLT purchase only the house and enter into a long-term agreement with the CLT to lease the land. CLT homes are sold to families with limited incomes. These homes cost less than market rate homes because CLT homebuyers purchase only the house and enter into a long-term agreement – a 99-year ground lease – with the CLT for the use of the land. When a family decides to sell a CLT home, they sell only the house to another family with a limited income for the price that is determined by the resale formula in the ground lease. The home stays affordable for future generations. By taking the cost of the land out of the real estate transaction, land trust homes are more affordable than houses on the open real estate market.