Community Land Trusts: Institutionalizing the Human Flourishing Theory of Property

22 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2020 Last revised: 19 Apr 2021

See all articles by John A. Lovett

John A. Lovett

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Date Written: November 12, 2020

Abstract

Greg Alexander has made a powerful case that an owner of property in a free and democratic society will be required from time to time to provide resources, in ways appropriate to that owner, to support the development of other persons’ human capabilities. This essay explores a property law institution that has been established by community activists, housing activists, and public-spirited transactional lawyers—the Community Land Trust (CLT). The essay outlines the key features of a CLT and argues that the CLT movement has institutionalized in the fabric of American property law several key elements of the social obligation norm that Alexander has long championed as the core of his human flourishing theory of property. The essay explores how Alexander’s human flourishing theory can justify and explicate the CLT model. Finally, the essay considers the challenges of taking the CLT model to scale and reflects on the kind of property law reform promised by the CLT movement and Alexander’s human flourishing theory of property.

Keywords: Community Land Trusts, Property, Property Law, Property Theory, Human Flourishing, Property Institutions and Change, Social Obligation and Property

Suggested Citation

Lovett, John A., Community Land Trusts: Institutionalizing the Human Flourishing Theory of Property (November 12, 2020). 29 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 621 (2020), Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Research Paper No. 2021-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3729599

John A. Lovett (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center ( email )

440 Law Center Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

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