Garfield Land Trust Roots
The Garfield Land Trust (GLT) grew from grassroots efforts started in 2016. Community meetings were held around Garfield where residents, community organizations, and friends of the neighborhood discussed the appropriateness of a community land trust for our area. In August of 2017, after two years of deliberations, membership was opened to residents who live in Garfield. Friends of the GLT who live outside the neighborhood boundaries are welcome as non-voting members. An initial board was elected by the membership in 2018.
Residents and friends of Garfield can become members for one dollar.
HAVE A LOOK AT THE
Garfield Land Trust
A changing neighborhood
The neighborhood of Garfield has a wonderful history. Once a diverse and thriving home for Irish, African American and other immigrant families, Garfield suffered decline as people moved out to the suburbs, the steel mills closed, government funding for housing dried up, and racist policies targeted the neighborhood. For 30 years our community leaders have fought blight and sought investment to preserve and build on the character of Garfield. Until about 2015, our area had been left out of the recent rapid development and investments being made in surrounding East End neighborhoods. Now that investors have turned a speculative eye to our streets, the community has shifted from seeking out investment to preserving Garfield’s unique character that makes this home to many.
For some, the investments are a way to cash in on the home equity they and their families built over the past decades. For others, the investments bring aggressive rent increases and evictions as investors seek to maximize returns. In some cases increased rents result in better living conditions, in other cases the increased rents are used as extracted profit for absentee businesses. Over time, the effect of both equity cash outs and rental displacement leads to disruption in the social support and sense of security the community has come to rely on. While we welcome investment from newcomers, we also need a way to balance between the deteriorating side of unrestricted profit seeking and the need for stable affordable housing. The community land trust model gives us a tool to improve the security and housing of our most vulnerable neighbors with a democratic process for community oversight.
By focusing on affordable rental housing, the Garfield Land Trust helps to support those most at risk to displacement. Our members come from all walks of life and are strong advocates for supporting those in need and improving the quality of life in Garfield.
Together we are taking ownership of existing affordable housing to preserve the resources for future generations. Additionally the land trust provides policy oversight for property management. Together with our partners we are creating a framework for expanding the capacity for community directed affordable housing in Garfield and beyond.
Community Activity Center
113 N Pacific Ave
One block from Aldi
Our Membership meetings are held monthly. Please see the schedule above for the next meeting. All membership meetings are open to the public and we encourage participation. By hearing what our residents and friends like, and dislike, we are able to make better decisions.
TRUSTED HANDS BEHIND US
Our community partners and supporters
Bloomfield Garfield Corporation
Brothers And Sisters Emerging
Regional Housing Legal Services
Montana Development Corporation
Join us to help preserve affordable rental housing
Membership is a way to stay informed, show your support, be active, and help your neighbors