building community power

Our Mission:

As a community-driven organization we work to establish and promote permanently affordable, equitable housing in Rochester, ensuring development without displacement by empowering neighbors, having the community both own and manage land, and bridging socioeconomic divisions.



Our History

Take Back the Land & Neighbors exercising an eviction blockade for Liz

City Roots Community Land Trust was born out of resistance. Founded in 2016, community members and the group Take Back the Land came together in an effort to fight for their neighbor and friend, Liz. Liz was going through the unending process of being kicked out of her home. Together, Take Back the Land exercised an eviction blockade, an act of physically putting themselves between law enforcement and the home to stop Liz from being displaced. Take Back the Land would be the starting group of two organizations, City Roots Community Land Trust and the City-Wide Tenant Union. Liz’s blockade was the first success for City Roots, and the first City Roots CLT home. City Roots is dedicated to living our values. City Roots Community Land Trust works to establish and promote permanent affordability, development without displacement, and community wealth building within Rochester, NY.

City root's

We are a collaborative of homeowners, renters, youth, allies and partners working together to strengthen the Rochester community by cultivating the perspective that socially-owned land can help affirm housing as a human right, build community wealth, and allow for investment in our communities without displacing those who live there.


Melissa Marquez


Board President // C.E.O of Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union

Melissa Marquez

Community. Land. Trust. The power of these three words together is the engine that propels us forward. We are creating a future together in which we envision that as a community we hold land together. Land is no longer a commodity, it is what we share in common. We are entrusted by the community to hold land so that our prosperity is shared. We are in solidarity with the community, with the land held in trust to create the legacy of what a home is truly meant to be and where no one lives in fear of being displaced.

Our Supporters

Tribute to our Members!

“We need a community land trust in Rochester to build generational wealth and support housing sustainability. I support and partner with City Roots Community Land Trust because they are working to promote development without displacement.”

Calvin Eaton

540WMain Communiversity & Gentrification Conference creator