In 2023, the Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts partnered with Dr. Jason Spicer at the University of Toronto to carry out the first census of all active community land trusts in Canada.
As of May 2023, 41 active CLTs were identified, 80% of which completed an online survey covering key organizational and portfolio characteristics.
In summary, the 2023 Census found that the Canadian CLT sector is:
- Growing quickly: One-third of survey respondents incorporated between 2020 and 2023, with a further five in the process of incorporating
- Diverse in form, aims, and leadership: Canadian CLTs have adapted the classic CLT governance model to suit their communities’ needs; Canadian CLTs hold land for a wide variety of purposes, and a growing number of groups are Black- or Indigenous-led and primarily serve equity-deserving communities.
- Effectively preserving and developing affordable housing: The number of residential units on CLT-owned land in Canada total nearly 10,000, and CLTs are actively acquiring and developing: the total number of units held by CLTs is expected to grow by at least 24% by the end of 2024.
- In need of greater support from government and other key actors: CLTs identified a lack of both operating and capital funds as a key barriers to growth. CLTs are in need of consistent funding for organizational development activities and for staff, particularly in the first few years following incorporation. A lack of funding for acquisition of existing rental housing was also identified as a barrier to growth.