Resource Spotlight: Land Loss Prevention Project
According to this 2017 article in The Nation, “[In] 1920, there were 925,000 black-owned farms, representing about 14 percent of all farms in the United States… Today, African Americans compose less than 2 percent of the nation’s farmers and 1 percent of its rural landowners.”
The Land Loss Prevention Project, based in North Carolina, is one of the key organizations founded to curtail this loss of Black owned by providing access to free legal services and resources for landowners and small farmers. We spoke with Savi Horne, LLPP’s Executive Director to learn more.
LLPP's Area of Expertise:
LLPP offers expertise in the provision of legal services to stabilize and stimulate land ownership. We believe that land security is the cornerstone of family asset retention, community economic development, environmental sustainability, and a just and healthy food system. LLPP is unique in that we are the only nonprofit law firm in North Carolina that provides direct legal assistance to landowners and small farmers. We do so by offering free legal assistance on issues ranging from foreclosure defense, access to credit, estate planning, heir property resolution, agricultural and real property law. LLPP attorneys also provide legal resources to other organizations working within the food system to form cooperatives, LLCs, community kitchens and nonprofits. LLPP participates in national advocacy around sustainable farm policy, land tenure and heir property.
The Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) assists low-resourced individuals and families statewide in North Carolina by providing direct legal representation, technical assistance, education, and policy innovation to protect their homes, land, farms, and rural livelihoods from loss or diminution and to foster agricultural entrepreneurship and a healthy food system.
Okay now for the fun stuff…
How would you describe LLPP? But there’s a catch… describe LLPP in a haiku!
Taste your history
In the soil of ancestors
Grow your own justice
What does LLPP bring to the (national food systems) table?
LLPP’s work is anchored and rooted in the land and ensuring that all people have access to legal resources when their ownership of land is threatened. LLPP works to remove the structural barriers to land ownership and food access because without stable land tenure, our access to healthy, equitable and just food production is at risk.
Who does LLPP serve?
LLPP serves any landowner across the state of North Carolina that cannot afford legal representation and is in danger of losing rights to land. LLPP also works to form agricultural business entities that can more successfully navigate risk associated with farming. The LLPP provides regional and national technical assistance to NGOs and CBOs working on land tenure matters and small farm policy.
What do people/orgs look to you for?
We hope that people can look to us, as a woman and African American led organization, to be a voice for equitable community-based development and land preservation.
What one (or two!) problem(s) can someone find solutions for on your site?
Someone that is trying to understand the inherent risks associated with ownership of heir property might find helpful resources through “Ten Ways to Save Your Land” or one of our estate planning pamphlets.
I would also highlight that because our services are offered at no cost, please don’t just rely on the website! Call and talk with us to make individualized plans that work for your own unique situation. 1-800-672-5839
Are there certain tools or resources that you’ve found especially popular?
In North Carolina, we find that our services focused on the preservation and management of heir owned land are highly utilized. As a law firm, we can also customize resources and strategies for groups that are adaptive to the needs of their unique communities.
Who can access your resources? How?
Anyone can access our free direct legal and technical assistance services if they have land in North Carolina and meet our income guidelines.
What other resources or support is LLPP looking for?
We hope that a light continues to shine on the root causes of land loss across our state and the country because without this attention, people will continue to lose their history, assets, wealth and autonomy. Ideally, there would be a grant based fund at some point that can serve as a pool of money for families struggling to resolve heir property ownership, pool joint ownership and resolve small property tax debts.
The LLPP is in need of general operating support to maintain and expand its free services to limited resource farmers, landowners and homeowners.
What other “resource-full” organizations would you recommend?
- National: National Family Farm Coalition, Rural Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, National Black Food and Justice Alliance
- Regional: Federation of Southern Cooperatives, SAAFON, Southwest Georgia Organizing Project, Soul Fire Farm, Black Family Land Trust, Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association
- North Carolina: Rural Advancement Foundation international, Earthseed Land Collective, CEFS, Rural Forward NC, Food Insight Group, Community Food Strategies, Marian Cheek Jackson Center
To learn more, please visit our website at www.landloss.org or call 1-800-672-5839.