Editor’s Note: How Community Ownership Is Evolving

The latest Shelterforce series takes a closer look at community land trusts and cooperatives to see how both are evolving.

Photos that shows the history of community ownership of land.

The pandemic has only accelerated what was already a quickly growing interest in community control of land and housing. In a world where corporate landlords insist on their rights to put people on the street during a raging pandemic—and too many judges agree—and housing operates ever more as someone else’s piggy bank rather than a place for people to live, it’s no surprise that the movement to pull homes and land out of the market and put them in control of the people who live in or around them has increasing momentum.

The question, as always for Shelterforce readers, is how.

Community land trusts and cooperatives are two of the most prominent models of community ownership, and ones we’ve written about for many years. In our next Under the Lens series we’re taking a focused look at some of the ways these forms of community ownership are evolving:

  • How are community land trusts moving from boutique to scaled-up enterprises and how are they are adapting their structures and governance to match?
  • Learn how a group of tenants who fought off a slumlord are navigating the transition to being property owners.
  • How are the experiences and tools of different community ownership models being combined or shared to help others?

And much, much more! The series launches July 12.

Also, join us on July 15 during a special webinar co-hosted with NPQ in which we’ll discuss the potential for social housing—of which community ownership can be a part—in the United States.

We hope these stories inspire you, and we look forward to seeing how community ownership evolves and grows.

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.

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