Tell New York City: Keep Public Land in Public Hands

NYCCLI believes that public land must be used for public good. We are calling on the City of New York to prioritize community land trusts (CLTs) and other community-based nonprofits—rather than for-profit developers—when disposing of public land, to keep land and housing permanently-affordable and advance community-led development.

Join us in calling on the NYC Racial Justice Commission to prioritize public land for CLTs. The Commission is charged with proposing structural changes to our City Charter that eliminate systemic racism.

Learn More & Take Action:

  • Read this joint letter to the Racial Justice Commission, signed by 55 organizations, supporting the public land charter revision proposal (submitted 11/24/21)
  • Read more about NYCCLI members’ activism at a recent Commission hearing.
  • Submit comments through the Commission’s website (see sample language below).

Recommendation Name:
Public Land for Community Land Trusts

Recommendation Description:
New York City’s Charter should be amended to require the City to prioritize community land trusts (CLTs) and other community-based nonprofits, when disposing of public land.

  • New York City owns thousands of vacant and underused lots. These sites should be prioritized for CLTs and other community-based nonprofits that commit to a) keeping land and housing permanently-affordable and b) giving tenants and community members meaningful control over development.

  • Most City-owned land currently goes to for-profit developers–leading to speculation and displacement in low-income Black and brown communities. We need the City to change course, by giving community-based and democratically-governed nonprofits the first chance to acquire City land.

  • Giving Black and brown communities control of land and housing, through CLTs, will advance racial equity, combat speculation and displacement, and ensure that public land is used for permanent public benefit.