Don't Answer Back! The Community Land Trust and Narratives of Urban Resistance

Engelsman, Ehud, Rowe, Mike ORCID: 0000-0002-2978-5222 and Southern, Alan ORCID: 0000-0003-3661-3442
(2015) Don't Answer Back! The Community Land Trust and Narratives of Urban Resistance. In: Housing – A Critical Perspective, Liverpool.

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A small part of the self-help housing campaign has been the slow emergence of the Community Land Trust (CLT) movement. CLTs are heterogeneous not only in terms of their scale and urban/rural contrast, but because the motivation behind their inception appear to be so different. In this paper we draw on the concepts of resistance put forward by those such as Ward (1996) and Scott (1985) and look specifically at two CLTs. In our two cases we find activists who work within the conditions and constraints under which home ownership ideology is generated. Both cases are located in major US cities, one in Boston and one in New York, and offer an insight into why a particular type of community organizing took place. We see a stand against gentrification in the heart of Manhattan, radical action to secure the ownership of land and to prevent displacement in a Lower East Side neighbourhood. In contrast, the second case shows a stand against the violence exerted in the degeneration of a South Boston neighbourhood. Here we see a community conversant with civil rights struggles who were able to secure the compliance of the local state through their direct action. Our work shows how narratives of resistance rely on activists and professionals who both share similar aims in resisting the hegemony of private capital and the state and in their resistance, highlight the contradiction between housing as commodity and housing as a process, something that is a central dialectical puzzle to the CLT movement.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 15:46
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 12:18