CLTs promote community ownership and democratic control of land. CLTs are best known for acquiring land for a community for the long-term preservation of affordable housing, local business incubation, community gardens and other community economic development initiatives. A CLT can be established in any neighbourhood anywhere, urban or rural with any type of housing or land use. Both new development and rehabilitation of existing buildings are common, primarily developed with non profit partners or by the CLT itself. By removing the rising land value from the price of property and retaining it in trust, the CLT can offer access to land at affordable and secure rates.
The Ottawa Community Land Trust is being established as a not-for-profit corporation that owns and manages land for affordable housing indefinitely. It removes property from the competitive market, and brings together sector resources to preserve and create assets that benefit the community. This can result in a range of housing opportunities.