June 30, 2018

An alliance for community control of land

Popular Resistance Ecovillagers Alliance is a nonprofit initiative of educators, organizers, systems engineers, and storytellers. We came together from a crazy quilt of past attempts to establish community control of land and buildings by different models—co-ops, land trusts, co-housing, communes—none of which quite addressed the inhumane realities of modern urban real estate. So we went back to the drawing board to ask: what instrument of neighborhood real estate stewardship would be democratic, just, and sustainable?

Now we are organizing a real estate investment cooperative for the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, with the exclusive purpose of incubating, funding, and assisting what we call “community land cooperatives,” at a micro-neighborhood level of roughly one-half to one city block. Each community land co-op, similarly to a community land trust, will serve as a permanent owner of the neighborhood’s land and buildings, removing them from the speculative marketplace. The community land co-op provides a way for residents (and community businesses) to own shares instead of properties and to access a unified, holistic decision-making process around development, management, and rents for homes and commercial spaces sharing the block.

Ecovillagers recognizes that economic vitality is an essential aspiration for any neighborhood. However, we reject methods of economic development that cause harm to existing communities and ecologies. In particular, we reject the treatment of land parcels and commercial and residential building units as commodities to be individually bought, sold, and owned.


MAMADOC said...

Only way to go. So great to know you are doing this!! A communitarianism... the only acceptable brand of communism...

MAMADOC said...

Sounds like the ideal way of treating the land and the people rooted in that land. The only acceptable form of communism which is a sort of "communitarianism"... with the many advantages of recognized private property while avoiding some of the worst ills of capitalism... Cheers!!