Below are publications on preserving affordable working farms, creation and management of community land trusts (CLTs), and promoting economic justice and property reform, including a series of articles on Economics as if Values Mattered, by Equity Trust founder Chuck Matthei. Many of these resources can be downloaded for free, others are available for purchase. Most are available directly from Equity Trust, but we have also included links to key resources offered by organizations we collaborate with. For more resources, please see our list of networks and partner organizations. We will continue to update these pages, so if there are other publications or resources you think we should link to, please let us know.

Model Documents

The following draft legal documents for preserving farms, together with explanatory commentaries, are available for free download:

Preserving Farms for Farmers Manual

Preserving Farms for Farmers Manual Preserving Farms for Farmers: A Manual for Those Working to Keep Farms Affordable, presents projects that permanently protected the affordability of whole farms, including land, farmhouse, barns, and other infrastructure, and ensured their continued use for food production. It also provides model legal documents, a model agricultural easement with option to purchase and a model agricultural ground lease, with commentaries.

Farmland Access in Urban Settings

Farmland Access in Urban Settings

Despite increasing interest in urban agriculture, little exists to help farmers navigate access to land in urban settings. Jo Rosen of Equity Trust and Kathy Ruhf of Land for Good co-authored a guide that addresses urban land access for commercial farmers. The guide looks at the unique challenges in locating urban properties, and dealing with urban ordinances, soil issues, and …

2011 Community Land Trust Technical Manual

2011 Community Land Trust Technical Manual This manual, available as a free pdf from   Grounded Solutions, updates and revises the 2002 ICE Community Land Trust Legal Manual. Edited by Kirby White, with input from expert practitioners from all across the country, the manual provides the most current and comprehensive technical and legal guidance available for creating and managing community land trusts.  Topics include incorporation of CLTs, options for bylaws, model ground lease, ownership restrictions, resale formulas, stewardship, enforcement, and much more.

On Common Ground: International Perspectives on the Community Land Trust

On Common Ground: International Perspectives on the Community Land Trust On Common Ground: International Perspectives on the Community Land Trust, edited by John Emmeus Davis, Line Algoed, and María E. Hernández-Torralesis, was published in 2020 by the Center for Community Land Trust Innovation's Terra Nostra Press. The book is a collection of twenty-six original essays, written by forty-two scholars and practitioners from a dozen countries, tracing the growth and diversification of the international community land trust movement.

Community Land Trust Reader

Community Land Trust Reader The Community Land Trust Reader, edited by John Emmeus Davis and published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (, brings together the writing that inspired and defined the community land trust movement, including essays by Equity Trust founder Check Matthei and several past and present board members. The full collection of essays in the CLT Reader, assembled together for the first time, trace the roots, evolution, and prospects of the CLT model of land tenure and explore new opportunities for using this model to protect land and property for community benefit. 2010 / 616 pages / Cloth / $35.00 Order online from the Lincoln Institute

The Community Land Trust Handbook

The Community Land Trust Handbook Profiles of Community Land Trusts: Reprints of Articles from Community Economics 1982 (228 pages) Prepared by ICE and published by Rodale Press, this classic book includes a description of the community land trust model and its theoretical basis, nine case studies of early CLTs, and practical advice on organizing, financing and developing a CLT. With pictures, illustrations and an easy-to-read format, this book is a key resource for anyone interested in CLTs. $5 plus $1.50 shipping and handling

Beyond Conservation Easements

Beyond Conservation Easements If we're serious about agricultural preservation, it's not enough to protect the land alone... This Equity Trust video discusses ways of going beyond traditional conservation easements to meet the new challenges posed by the growing market for rural estates.   View online 

The Value of Land in Economics

The Value of Land in Economics

Economics As If Values Mattered, part 1


AS OFTEN AS economic issues occupy our personal thoughts or dominate public discourse, the subject of “economics” remains confusing and even intimidating to many people. It seems to be vast, highly technical, and quite impersonal—yet we are each so profoundly affected by its realities.

Despite appearances, economics is in essence …

Faith and Finance

Faith and Finance

Economics as if Values Mattered, part 2


BENEATH ALL OF THE EMBOSSED certificates deposit books, and daily market reports, investments are human relationships. Capital, after all, represents labor and land. and whether it is accumulated from wages or donations, rents or product sales, inheritance or other unearned income, we might appropriately ask three questions: With whom are …

The Spirit Of Work

The Spirit Of Work

Economics As If Values Mattered, part 3


OF ALL THE ECONOMIC challenges confronting us, none is more complex and contentious than the problem of employment. The character and culture of labor are changing, even more than that of land or capital. From the definition of meaningful work to salary scales, corporate structures, and strategies for job creation, …

Gaining Ground

How CSAs Can Acquire, Hold, and Pass On Land This discussion of land tenure and financing for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) was adapted from a chapter prepared by Chuck Matthei of the Equity Trust for Farms of Tomorrow Revisited, edited by Trauger Groh and Steven McFadden (Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, 1997). It lays the groundwork for what has become our farms for farmers program, while setting forth ideas on how to balance individual and community interests, as well as practical ideas on developing a relationship with a land trust and on financing a farm purchase. Download free pdf

Property And Values

Property And Values Edited by Charles Geisler and Gail Daneker (Island Press, 2000) Property and Values offers a fresh look at property rights issues, bringing together scholars, attorneys, government officials, community development practitioners, and environmental advocates to consider new and more socially equitable forms of ownership. The book synthesizes much innovative thinking on ownership in land and housing, and signals how that thinking might be used across America.

Managing The Money Side

Managing The Money Side Financial Management for Community-Based Housing Organizations For CLTs and other community-based housing organizations, Managing the Money Side identifies the types of financial problems that can overwhelm an organization without an adequate accounting system. The manual then leads readers through the process of developing sound budgeting, accounting and reporting systems. Written by our former technical assistance director and board member Kirby White, and funded by Metropolitan Life Foundation. $12 plus $2.50 shipping and handling

Permanently Affordable Homeownership

Permanently Affordable Homeownership Permanently Affordable Homeownership is a study of resale data from Burlington Community Land Trust--established 1983-- prepared by John E. Davis and Amy Demetrowitz of Burlington Associates. Completed in May 2003, the study evaluates the effectiveness of the CLT model in delivering permanently affordable homeownership opportunities. 2003 (136 pages) $4.00 plus $1.50 shipping and handling.

Integrating Social Equity and Growth Management

Integrating Social Equity and Growth Management Linking Community Land Trusts and Smart Growth A theoretical framework for utilizing both the Community Land Trust and Smart Growth approaches to developing affordable homes and viable neighborhoods. The paper was written for ICE by Tasha Harmon, coordinator of the Community Development Network, the association of nonprofit housing developers in Multnomah County, Oregon. $5 plus $1.50 shipping and handling

Introducing Community Land Trusts Pamphlet in Spanish & English

Introducing Community Land Trusts Pamphlet in Spanish & English A concise, compelling brochure introducing community land trusts, explaining the importance of community control of land and including a description of the essential features of CLTs, endorsements from people involved in CLTs, and stories of three successful CLTs. This is a useful tool for local CLT organizing and includes a space to fill in a local contact name.

Student Handbook on Community Investment by Colleges and Universities

Produced by Equity Trust Inc.
This 26-page handbook is available in pdf format:
Student Handbook

INTRODUCTION: Recent years have seen an exciting growth in the number of students concerned with the issues of poverty, economic injustice, and environmental degradation. This new level of student engagement with these global issues – perhaps most publicly illustrated with the 1999 protests against the …