NEWS: May 2015, we have developed a Buyer Selection Process and Criteria, which we will update from time to time, to guide the Board through the purchase and sale of buildings/homes on our community-owned land. Currently, Orchard House at Alvastra is being offered for sale.
NEWS: We had a full house of 80 people at our Housing Symposium on March 31st with a robust discussion of opportunities and challenges for equitable housing in our region. Thanks to all who participated!
NEWS: The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires is forming a new community land trust to be called Berkshire Community Land Trust, Inc. and which will serve all of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. As of March 2015, our application to the IRS is in progress.
NEWS: The Berkshire Co-op Market, Berkshire Grown, Schumacher Center for a New Economics, The Carrot Project, Great Barrington Land Conservancy, Indian Line Farm and BerkShares have signed up to co-sponsore our March 21st event!
NEWS: Check out our new Community Housing Info-graphic which shows how a Community Land Trust can provide workforce homeownership opportunities to support the local economy.
NEWS: Check out our new Whole Farm Preservation Info-graphic
which shows how conservation land trusts, community land trusts and state agriculture preservation programs can collaborate to conserve foodsheds for food security.
NEWS: Eric Holt-Giménez, a powerful advocate for socially just community food systems and Executive Director of Food First, will be the featured speaker at our 2015 Annual Meeting & Board Elections on Saturday, March 21st at 7:00 pm. Get the details.
NEWS: December 15, 2014 We are very pleased to announce the receipt of a grant that will fund our expanded education programs in Berkshire County. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your community wants to explore the possibilities.
NEWS: November 29, 2014 New York Times Sunday Review editorial “Homeownership and Wealth Creation” advocates for an expansion of homeownership opportunities to ensure a fair share of economic growth goes to people of modest means rather than corporate profits.
NEWS: November 16, 2014 at Mt. Holyoke College, Board President, Billie Best, gave a lecture to a group of international students on “Community Ownership of Land for Food Security” for a course called “Once and Future Family Farm.”
NEWS: November 13, 2014 article “Time to consider the middle ground of housing” in The Boston Globe advocates for wider adoption of the community land trust model and public policies that support it.
NEWS: November 11, 2014, renowned agrarian, Wendell Berry, in his speech to the Slow Money 2014 Conference in Kentucky, said, “The value of land is infinite.” We couldn’t agree more!
NEWS: Thursday, October 30, 2014, at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission 5th Thursday Dinner CLTSB Board President, Bilie Best, gave a presentation to municipal board members and town employees on ways to use the CLT model as an economic development tool.
NEWS: Thursday, October 23, 2014, CLTSB Board President, Billie Best, gave a talk at Simon’s Rock College of Bard for their Food Studies Program on the relationship between access to land and democracy.
NEWS: The Schumacher Center for a New Economics has appointed Billie Best as Community Land Trust Program Director to develop an education and outreach program for the Berkshires that can be a model for communities across the country. As President of the Board of Trustees for the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, Best already leads the stewardship of 49 acres of community-owned land leased to 24 households, including Forest Row, an 18 home development in Great Barrington, and Indian Line Farm, the first community-supported-agriculture farm in the U.S.
NEWS: Two new documents which show how CLT works have been posted on the Resources page here. Our form for appraisers of property on CLT land and the letter template for leaseholders intending to sell their property.
NEWS: Three new reports advocate for wider adoption of the community land trust model for sustainable housing development:
This July 2014 report explains how different community land trusts engage their stakeholders: Resident and Community Engagement in Community Land Trusts by Emily Thaden and Jeffrey S. Lowe, © 2014 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy CLT-engagement-July2014-LIncLandInst
This July 2014 report explains how different community land trusts operate: Achieving Lasting Affordability through Inclusionary Housing by Robert Hickey, Lisa Sturtevant, and Emily Thaden © 2014 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy CLT-inclusion-July2014-LincLandInst
This April 2014 U.S. Housing & Urban Development report explains issues and policies for transit-oriented housing development: Creating Connected Communities: A Guidebook for Improving Transportation Connections for Low- and Moderate-Income Households in Small and Mid-Sized Cities CLT-Creating_Cnnted_Coms-HUD
NEWS: The “Sustainable Berkshires Report” section on Housing & Neighborhoods adopted by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission March 20, 2014, recommends expanding the community land trust model as a top strategy for creating more affordable housing in Berkshire County. Read it here. Read the Berkshire Trade & Commerce July 2014 article here. Find all eight sections of the Sustainable Berkshires report here.
NEWS: Videos of the Farmland Access Symposium (April 12, 2014) are on Youtube, including Kathy Ruhf‘s keynote, Bridget Spann and Leslie Reed-Evans telling the story of Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and Caretaker Farm, Jen Salinetti from Woven Roots Farm and Bruce Howden from Howden Farm telling the story of their challenges as farmers, and the service providers panel including Rick Chandler from Mass Dept of Ag Resources APR Program, Kathy Orlando from Sheffield Land Trust, Benneth Phelps from the Carrot Project and Bill Martin from Farm Credit East.
NEWS: Huffington Post article on the growing need for community land trusts to stabilize housing boom and bust cycles, and protect local residents from the price pressure of gentrification: Urbanism at a Crossroads by Aaron Bartley, co-founder of PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing), June 25, 2014.