Unlike so many owners who are quickly selling their properties to the highest bidder amidst rising real estate values, an East Oakland landlord was intent on giving the existing tenants a fair shot to purchase the property.
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.
In the face of accelerating gentrification, along with ongoing speculation and eviction, the idea of putting a substantial number of homes outside of the reach of the speculative market has been gaining momentum across the country.
The contemporary American understanding of community control over urban land is rooted in post-war organizing against government-driven redevelopment and bank-driven financial disinvestment. Broader movement...
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.
Lopez Community Land Trust combined community control of land, permanent affordability, permaculture principles, a net-zero energy goal, green designs, individual empowerment and fun, into one ambitious housing development project.
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.
The commons can be understood as a set of resources that have been de-commodified: that is, these are resources that are used to directly support life, rather than to extract a profit through sale on the market.
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.
A Portland policy gives priority for housing funded by the city’s housing bureau to residents who were displaced, are at risk of displacement, or are the descendants of families who were displaced due to urban renewal in North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods.
Though much fanfare is showered on the CLT model, land trusts often struggle to get off the ground because very little support is available for those trying to create one or for existing CLTs looking to expand.