Tag: community control of land essays
When we put out a call for essays about the meaning of community control of land, we expected we might get a handful of responses. Instead we got dozens and dozens, coming from all different parts of the country, from residents and researchers, activists and advocates. We clearly touched a nerve.
How can power over land be used in such a way that people who are at a political disadvantage—who are poor, members of racial, ethnic or religious minorities, very young or very old, or have a disability—benefit? How about those who cannot speak for themselves, like trees or rivers?
For Section 8 recipients, a step toward economic mobility (and community control) can be limited-equity cooperatives. A Section 8 voucher can be used to pay some of the monthly carrying costs of a co-op unit.
Stabilizing their home came at a steep price. These residents no longer face the threat of possible eviction, but they now confront the well-disguised iron hand of the market wrapped in the velvet gloves of “affordability” and “fairness,” pitting them against efforts by their public financiers to force them into higher rents over time.
Our belief is that community in CLTs emerges not from the simple fact of membership, but from the relationships, cooperative efforts—and disputes–of those occupying and making decisions over the land.
The “highest and best use” of real estate should be the maximum fulfillment of social, environmental, and economic benefit for the greatest number of stakeholders including future generations.
This nonprofit is organizing a real estate investment cooperative for the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, with the exclusive purpose of incubating, funding, and assisting “community land cooperatives.”
Residents and institutions in a North Philadelphia neighborhood wanted to put the power of the land back into the hands of the community. The way we decided to do this was to create the Community Justice Land Trust and ensure neighborhood residents and tenants of CLT homes had seats on its board.
Because we have our own home we have the liberty to dream, act, and influence our community. We have a unique opportunity as land trust homeowners as we are part of affordable homeownership today, tomorrow, and forever.
Community control often gets conflated with affordability for neighborhoods seeing rising prices, and it’s obviously good to make land stay affordable. But affordability is not the same as democratic decision-making.
Democracy is messy and takes effort and time. Knowing my neighbors and being jointly responsible for our shared spaces make that effort worth our time and help make us better people, with skills in making decisions together and practice caring for each other.
12Page 1 of 2