Community Development Papers

Community Land Trusts in Minnesota: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of How They Fared During the Great Recession

An exploration of how the housing boom and bust of the past decade affected community land trusts in Minnesota.

Harshada Karnik

Published August 26, 2014

Abstract
This analysis examines how the housing boom and bust of the past decade affected community land trusts in Minnesota, using mixed methods to gather data. Financial data for the organizations was gathered from their IRS 990 forms, and interviews were conducted with executives of some of the organizations. The main finding of the analysis is that maintaining stable revenue streams for day-to-day operations is a bigger challenge to these organizations than acquiring properties and protecting their investment from market fluctuations. Another finding is that the selection and screening processes that Community Land Trusts (CLTs) have evolved and the stewardship services they offer to their clients helped CLTs to maintain relatively low default rates.

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