Community Owned Real Estate

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We advance community control over land, housing, and other real estate assets by developing narratives and tools for the various stakeholders that are necessary for financing and building these projects.

Land and property ownership in the US is deeply entrenched in power dynamics, racial exclusion, and exploitation. This connection between property ownership and structural racism continues to exacerbate a range of health and economic inequalities among communities, especially those grappling with housing instability and discrimination, racially segregated residential areas, concentrated poverty, and various types of displacement. 

A major factor driving the inequity in property ownership is decision-making power. As explored in our work on Participatory Investment, capital is a major driver of outcomes in place, especially in real estate. Because these investments are typically made without meaningful community input, and give them little say over the management of the outcomes of that investment, the needs of investors and related for-profit service providers take precedence. We believe investment efforts should not happen “to” communities, but “with” them; they should respond to, address, and be accountable to the visions, needs, and aspirations of the community itself.

Communities across the country are developing models that make real estate affordable in the long term for residential and commercial tenants, create vehicles for community power-building, and build personal and community wealth. These Community Owned Real Estate (CORE) models include:

  • Housing-focused models: Community Land Trusts, Limited Equity Cooperatives, Mixed Income Neighborhood Trusts
  • Commercial and Mixed-Use models: Community Investment Trusts and Stewardship Trusts
  • Other land strategies: Land back and rematriation

In 2024 and 2025, we will be engaging with partners across sectors to learn more about these models, develop tools and solutions for capital providers, and support projects who are developing CORE projects. 

We're currently developing several resources for Community Owned Real Estate! Stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our related work on Participatory Investment.

Participatory Investment Learning Hub