BHM23: Black-led Community Land Trusts in Canada

Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts      14 Feb 2023      Online event      Partner/affiliate event

4:00-5:30pm PST (1:00-2:30pm EST)

Learn how Black-led community land trusts are creating more equitable access to land and housing in Vancouver, Toronto, and Nova Scotia.

Hosted by the Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts, this webinar will highlight the work of four Black-led Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in Canada.

Join us to hear about their goals, accomplishments, and how they are creating more equitable access to land and housing in their communities.

After the presentations, there will be a question and answer period.

The session will be facilitated by Cheryll Case, with presentations from Hogan’s Alley Society (Vancouver), Black Urbanism Toronto), Upper Hammonds Plains Community Land Trust (Nova Scotia), and DownTheMarsh Community Land Trust (Nova Scotia).

About community land trust: A CLT is a placed-based not-for-profit corporation that holds land in perpetuity, generally for the stewardship and/or development of affordable housing. A unique dual ownership structure separates ownership of land from improvements on the land (e.g. buildings), effectively removing land from the speculative real estate market. The model often emphasizes community-based governance that foregrounds the participation of residents, local community members and members of the public. Taken together, the CLT model structures land as a wealth-building mechanism for the community rather than private individuals or corporate investors.


Curtis Whiley is a sixth generation African Nova Scotian from the historical community of Upper Hammonds Plains. He has worked with the Province of Nova Scotia in various roles with Housing Nova Scotia and the Land Titles Initiative. As a volunteer with support from community, Curtis founded the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Land Trust (UHPCLT). Through the trust, we are engaging, educating, and empowering community and partners to recognize the benefits of a community land trusts as mechanisms to preserve historic land and facilitate community transformation.

Natasha Gray is contracted with the DownTheMarsh Community Land Trust as the Community Engagement Consultant. Natasha’s role is to engage with the current and former African Nova Scotian residents of Truro and provide guidance to the Trust’s Transitional Board with their operational planning and capacity building. Natasha has an extensive background in engagement and deep relationships with Community. She has led many initiatives to engage communities, government and various stakeholders to support research, inform policy and build organizational capacity.

Jessica Hines is an acclaimed Business Psychologist- having a MSC in International Business Management and BA in Psychology. Her degree is being utilized to help immigrant and small enterprises in the Caribbean and Canada. She is currently the operations manager for Black Urbanism To.

Djaka Blais (she/her) is a bilingual social sector leader with 18 years of experience in philanthropy, government, and community mobilizing. Djaka is the inaugural Executive Director of Hogan’s Alley Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit focused on advancing the social, political, economic, and cultural well-being of people of African descent (Black People) through the delivery of inclusive housing, built spaces, and culturally informed programming. Djaka is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities, the first philanthropic foundation for Black communities in Canada and a fellow with SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Djaka is now a guest on the unceded and occupied ancestral lands of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Stó:lō, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.