Earlier this month, the San Francisco Foundation made a new $900,000 loan from its Bay Area Community Impact Fund to Oakland Community Land Trust. This loan will help purchase and update single-family homes and small, multi-unit buildings in Oakland and preserve them as permanently affordable homes jointly owned by residents.
Established in 2009, the nonprofit Oakland Community Land Trust (“OakCLT”) helps Oakland residents find affordable homes, become homeowners, build their wealth, and leave a nest egg for their families. By doing so, OakCLT helps shield residents with low incomes from the disproportionate effects of economic crises.
Once properties are acquired by OakCLT, they remain affordable in perpetuity. For single-family homes, OakCLT uses a community land trust model whereby OakCLT owns the land, leases it long-term to the resident, and sells the home to the resident by helping them secure a mortgage. For multi-unit buildings, OakCLT creates a collective ownership structure whereby individual households and businesses operating in the property own shares in a cooperative corporation. In both models, tenants benefit by controlling how the property is managed, keeping mortgage and rental rates affordable, and holding equity ownership in the property.
In early 2017, the tenants and nonprofit residents of the 23rd Avenue Community Building in Oakland found out that their building would be put up for sale. Rather than run the risk of being displaced by higher rents, the tenants fought to stay in their home. They partnered with Oakland CLT, launched a crowd funding campaign, and ultimately raised $1.5 million to collectively purchase the building.
“That this land will always stay in community is an important investment in generations of community control,” Devi Peacock told Locavesting soon after the purchase. Peacock leads Liberating Ourselves Locally, one of the organizations housed in the building. “This isn’t about just places to live, this is also about preserving the cultural services that make life worth living—the places where people make culture.”
Since 2009, OakCLT has acquired 22 vacant, foreclosed homes, updated them, and sold them using the community land trust model to families in East Oakland. They have also purchased three multi-unit buildings and 10 vacant lots and have many more properties in its pipeline.
In partnership with our generous Bay Area Community Impact Fund investors, we are proud to invest in Oakland Community Land Trust. Learn more about the fund and our current portfolio of loans.