Community land trusts (CLTs) are distinguished from many other nonprofit housing developers by the degree to which residents of the places served by a CLT are woven into the culture, structure, and operation of the organization itself. This participatory element-the "C" in CLT-is just as important to what a CLT is and does as its distinctive approach to the ownership of land and the stewardship of housing.
Participation is sometimes overshadowed by other organizational priorities, especially when a CLT is rapidly expanding its holdings of land and housing. Yet most CLT practitioners remain passionately committed to involving local residents in their work. For them, community matters as much as ever-although the manner in which community is conceived, purposed, and practiced has become increasingly complex.
The practitioners featured in the present volume epitomize the persistence of this commitment to community-and its complexity. Working with CLTs in Boston, Brussels, Houston, London, and San Juan, they have championed a variety of strategies for giving residents an active voice in planning and development. They have also changed strategies when needed. The stories of these experienced practitioners explore the whys and ways of keeping "community" alive in organizations like theirs. They offer a virtual master class in resilient resident engagement.