The Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) began in 1989. The inspiration for beginning the program was the outstanding rise in the cost of housing of 190% in just one year. With such a large gap between housing costs and wages the LCLT designed a program for affordable housing and sustainable living. The LCLT draw upon the Native-American approach of Seven-Generation decision making and the Hanover Principles to create these sustainable communities. The Seven-Generation approach takes into consideration the effects an action will have on the next seven generations before taking action. The Hanover Principles are as follow:
1. Insist on rights of humanity and nature to co-exist
2. Recognize interdependence.
3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter.
4. Accept responsibility for the consequence of design.
5. Create safe objects of long-term value.
6. Eliminate the concept of waste.
7. Rely on natural energy flow.
8. Understand the limitations of design.
9. Seek constant improvement by sharing of knowledge.
More details on the Hanover Principles can be found here:
The LCLT has now developed four different neighborhoods all based on these sustainable principles and all built by volunteers, interns, and the homeowners themselves. All the homes in these neighborhoods are equipped with rain catchment devices and solar powering.
In addition to creating net-zero affordable homes LCLT also has a program in sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD). SARD includes a variety of different programs all geared toward sustainable agriculture and rural development. These programs include: a mobile meat processing unit, a farm products guide for residents to locate goods on the island, a grain project for producing grain on the island rather than importing it, a wind energy report to use wind rather than solar power to minimize their footprint, a food charrette, and a garden and farm program in the school district which educates children on the importance of sustainability, the community, and environmental awareness.
Visit the LCLT website for more details on the project.