FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


What are Community Land Trusts?

A community land trust (CLT) is an organisation that provides ongoing affordable housing and other community benefits, usually set up as a private non-profit community organisation. That definition places CLTs in the broader family of community housing providers. What makes them unique is their focus on community involvement in or ownership of the organisation, and their focus on balancing the rights of the household with the rights of the broader community or society. This is often referred to as unpacking the bundle of rights that are tied up in housing tenure; in doing so, CLTs aim to ensure that neither the household nor wider society benefits at the expense of the other. CLTs provide a range of affordable housing that includes resale-restricted home ownership, rental housing and housing cooperatives, as well as other commercial and/or community spaces.

Why can CLTs be significant in Australia?

CLT proponents see the model as providing homeowners who live on CLT land with:

  • Security – that is, a private place to call a home that has continuity;
  • Equity – meaning whatever value a person has put into their homes through cash or labour is retained;
  • A reasonable legacy – meaning that the property from which one derives security and has created value through equity can be passed from one generation to another.

What is a lease?

A lease is a written document granting a party (the lessee who will be the resident) ‘exclusive possession’ of the premises. Legislation in all Australian jurisdictions requires a conveyance to be in writing. Technically, short term oral leases are possible; however, even if an agreement is oral, it is still subject to the relevant laws. The resident has control of the premises and can decide who can come on to the property, and can exclude others. There are some exceptions – usually the lessor (e.g. the CLT) has a limited right to inspect the premises, and certain other rights in the case of emergency.



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