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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 has been providing affordable housing and case management services in the Greater Boston area since 1985. 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, CLT ensured they would remain accessible to low-income individuals. During the next ten years, amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis, the crack epidemic, and escalating rates of homelessness in the Greater Boston area, CLT identified an urgent need to house and support those trapped in a cycle of homelessness. CLT addressed this need by transitioning to complete self-management and establishing the case management branch of our agency. Today, CLT owns and manages twenty properties, providing housing and supportive services to over 650 of Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents.
CLT’s portfolio includes two types of housing: (1) affordable apartments, serving homeless and low- to moderate-income families, and (2) single-room-occupancy (SRO) supportive housing programs, serving homeless, disabled, and very low-income individuals. The majority of CLT's SRO residents are grappling with multiple diagnoses, including physical disabilities, mental health challenges, addictions, and HIV/AIDS, and many have struggled for years to secure permanent housing. Upon move-in, CLT ensures that our clients’ basic needs are met. Residents of our SRO properties are provided with a furnished room and access to an on-site food pantry. Case managers conduct initial intakes and help residents acclimate to permanent housing. They refer our clients to local resources, address their medical, legal, and social challenges, and help them stay engaged with outside providers. Although many of our SRO residents are unable to work due to the severity of their disability, CLT 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 residents receive the support necessary to remain housed, maintain their health, and rebuild their lives.
- Jasmine Edo
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