Discover where land banks, land banking programs, and CLTs (both community land trusts and conservation land trusts) are located across the U.S. and where they may have shared service areas.
This map is a project of the Center for Community Progress and the Land Trust Alliance.
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Working together, land banks, conservation land trusts, and community land trusts can help communities reactivate vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties and providing quality affordable housing and land conservation for current and future generations.
Today, there are few examples of effective, sustained partnerships between land banks and land trusts. However, these partnerships hold great potential. Land banks can use their unique powers to acquire, stabilize, and transfer vacant properties to a land trust. Community land trusts can use those properties to create lasting affordable homeownership opportunities, while conservation land trusts can maintain and protect vacant land parcels to help provide clean water, protect habitat for wildlife and plants, and help fight the impacts of climate change. Land banks and land trusts should leverage each other’s strengths to fulfill their different but complementary missions to support a more resilient and equitable future in neighborhoods across the United States.
This map identifies where land banks, conservation land trusts, and community land trusts may have shared service areas and should explore opportunities to work together.
This map is a project of the Center for Community Progress and the Land Trust Alliance. Data current as of August 21, 2023.
- Land bank or land banking program: A land bank is a public entity with unique powers to put vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties back to productive use according to community goals. A land bank’s primary purpose is to acquire properties that some call “blighted” and temporarily hold and take care of them until they can be transferred to new, responsible owners. State laws give land banks their unique powers. While these powers vary state to state, ideally land banks can: acquire tax-foreclosed property cost-effectively; flexibly sell property to a responsible buyer or developer, driven not by the highest price but by the outcome that most closely aligns with community goals; extinguish liens and clear title; and hold property tax exempt. In contrast, land banking programs exist primarily in states without enabling legislation and typically do not have the unique powers of legislatively enabled land banks but can still provide important support to transforming vacant properties. For more information, visit Center for Community Progress.
- Conservation land trust: Community-based nonprofit organizations that actively work to permanently conserve land that has natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural value. Conservation land trusts can acquire and hold land and may also work with private landowners to acquire conservation easements. Land trusts also manage or restore land once it has been conserved. Land trusts are also called land conservancies. For more information about conservation land trusts, visit Land Trust Alliance. For more information about conservation land trust and community land trust partnerships visit Land Trust Alliance's Resource Center.
- Accredited land trust: A Conservation land trust that has implemented the Land Trust Accreditation Commission’s Land Trust Standards and Practices.
- Community land trust: Nonprofit organizations, governed by community land trust residents, community residents, and nonprofit and public representatives, that provide permanent community control of land and affordable housing. The community land trusts listed on the map represent both traditional community land trusts and shared equity programs that may not distinguish land from buildings the way a community land trust does. There may be other affordable housing developers that are not classified as community land trusts not represented on this map. For more information about community land trusts, visit Schumacher Center or Grounded Solutions Network. For more information about land bank and community land trust partnerships, visit Center for Community Progress.
- Potential shared service area: Areas of overlap among land bank service areas and land trusts. These overlaps indicate the opportunity for entities to explore their shared service areas and priorities.
- Conservation land trusts: Data on conservation land trusts provided by the Land Trust Alliance. Included land trusts represent Land Trust Alliance members as of July 18, 2023.
- Community land trusts: Data gathered from the Schumacher Center for a New Economics’ “Community Land Trust Directory.” Accessible at https://centerforneweconomics.org/apply/community-land-trust-program/directory/. Accessed on August 16, 2023.
- Land banks or land banking programs: Center for Community Progress’ “National Land Bank Map.” Accessible at https://communityprogress.org/resources/land-banks/national-land-bank-map/. Accessed on August 16, 2023.
- Potential Shared Service Area: Center for Community Progress. Created August 16, 2023.
- US States (Generalized): ESRI Living Atlas.
- USA Freeway System: ESRI Living Atlas.
- Geographic Boundaries: National Historical GIS shapefiles (tl2021_us_county_2021; tl2021_us_state_2021; tl2021_us_place) accessed January 10, 2023. Available via IPUMS NHGIS, University of Minnesota, https://www.nhgis.org/.
For more information about this map’s data, click here.