Established in 1985, Commonwealth Land Trust (CLT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is dedicated to preserving neighborhoods and preventing homelessness. CLT owns and manages over 350 units of affordable housing and provides on-site case management services to many of Massachusetts' most vulnerable residents. Linking housing and care, CLT works to rebuild lives and communities.
Commonwealth Land Trust (CLT) has a 28 year track record of providing affordable housing and case management services in the Greater Boston area. Originally founded as a development agency, CLT's initial focus was on preserving affordable housing during the booming real estate market of the 1980s. CLT acquired and renovated properties that were sites of dilapidation and crime, or conversely, targeted for gentrification. By removing these buildings from the speculative market and implementing affordability and use restrictions, CLT ensured they would remain accessible to low income individuals. CLT acted as owner and asset manager and hired outside companies to provide property management and supportive services. During the next 10 years, amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis, the crack epidemic, and escalating rates of homelessness in the Greater Boston area, CLT identified a clear and urgent need for a holistic approach to the management of our properties. CLT addressed this need by establishing the supportive housing branch of our agency and transitioned to complete self-management in the mid-1990s. Today, CLT owns and manages over 350 affordable housing units, providing housing and supportive services to over 650 of our state's most vulnerable residents.
CLT's portfolio includes family and single room occupancy (SRO) supportive housing programs in Boston, Roxbury, Beacon Hill, the South End, Chelsea, and Lawrence. Each property is supported by our on-site case managers, supportive housing managers, specially-trained maintenance workers, and administrative staff. Unlike many affordable housing agencies, CLT directly manages every branch of our organization. Our small staff of 35 professionals works as a team to provide services to our formerly homeless residents, many of whom are struggling with mental and physical disabilities, drug addictions, HIV/AIDS, and histories of chronic homelessness. A large percentage of our SRO residents have multiple diagnoses and have struggled for years to secure and maintain permanent housing.
CLT's single, formerly homeless, and disabled residents are provided with a furnished room, consisting of a bed, dresser, microwave, refrigerator, sink, and night stand, as well as an on-site food pantry. CLT's on-site case managers conduct initial intakes and help our residents acclimate to permanent housing. They refer our clients to local resources, help them stay engaged with outside providers, and address their medical, legal, and social challenges. Although many of our residents are unable to work due to the severity of their disability, CLT staff encourages our clients to realize their individual goals, which may include volunteering, joining a support group, or reconnecting with their family. CLT's model of complete self management and on-site case management provision ensures that our clients receive the support necessary to remain housed, maintain their health, and rebuild their lives.