#TenantsWithoutLandlords Recap and Resources Round-Up

Housing is fundamental because housing is a prerequisite to everything: health, safety, and well-being. Can you imagine what our community would look like if we had all that we need?

What we came to realize during the #TenantsWithoutLandlords campaign throughout the month of May, is the breadth and depth to which our community is doing the work to realize housing justice in our lifetime. Over 230 people attended our #TenantsWithoutLandlord events, and with each presenter sharing their knowledge, each thoughtful question asked by participants, each new relationship forged at our happy hour, we got a glimpse of the mycelial network of people working towards housing justice. We hope the resources linked below can continue the domino effect of our collective work, and spur even more movement towards housing for all.


Remembering When Land Was There For Us - by Janelle Orsi

Resources for Radical Home Sellers - by Janelle Orsi

Housing Policy for the People: SB 1079 and Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Acts

Recording & Slide Deck

Key Takeaways

  • We must disincentivize, or better yet prevent, absentee landlords and institutional investors from purchasing real estate PERIOD.

  • What does our future look like? It looks like it will repeat itself. UNLESS… we strengthen tenant protections/eradicate real estate lobbyists, take all housing off of the speculative market, shake politicians to their senses so they can stem the tsunami that is already upon us. What policies can we upgrade? SB 1079…Tenant Opportunity to Purchase, not just Community Opportunity to Purchase

  • SB 1079 was created to prevent Wall Street firms from creating artificial scarcities like they did in 2008 by buying thousands of homes and keeping them vacant, Sen. Nancy Skinner introduced SB 1079 in 2020 to reduce land grabs resulting from foreclosure auctions. The power of SB 1079 includes:

    • Increase fines to owners of vacant residential property acquired at foreclosure sale who fail to maintain the property

    • Adjusts Trustee Sale process of real property with 1-4 residential units, extending the bidding beyond the public auction for certain strictly defined “eligible bidders,” like land trusts and tenants

  • Community land trusts (CLTs) were created to protect tenants and keep housing off of the speculative market. CLTs have a history dating back to the late 1960s in the United States, when a group of civil rights activists and community organizers in rural Georgia established the first CLT as a way to secure land and housing for African American farmers. The New Communities Land Trust acquired 5,700 acres of land, which they used to establish a sustainable agriculture operation and provide affordable housing for low-income families.

  • There are over 225 community land trusts in the United States.

  • The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is part of an anti-displacement movement 

  • People power can beat big money and win! You need to assemble your coalition, pick an idea, hire a professional drafting attorney, submit your petition, gather signatures, and begin your campaign. 

Captured Questions from the Zoom Chat: Housing Policy for the People


How to Start a Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (PREC) / Cómo iniciar una cooperativa inmobiliaria permanente

Recording & Slide Deck

Key Takeaways

  • In a Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (PREC), the imagination is set free to envision new forms of mutual aid and entrepreneurship, unlocking new opportunities for growth and development. Through this, we can create communities that are strong, sustainable, and thriving, much like an ecosystem that flourishes with biodiversity and interdependence.

  • A "permanent" approach to land ownership can be seen as the process of deepening the roots of a tree. By nurturing a sense of stewardship and respect for the land, and committing to sustainable practices, the community can establish a strong foundation that can weather the shifting tides of the real estate market.

  • We thrive the best when we have the power to join with others to meet our collective needs. Cooperatives may be better vehicles for collective benefit, but nonprofits can probably work too.

  • People power can overcome. Through community organizing and collective action, a PREC can challenge the status quo of land ownership and create a more just and equitable system. Banks and other powerful institutions may resist this change, but with a strong and diverse membership base, a PREC can leverage its collective power to create a new paradigm of land ownership. This movement for community benefit requires the participation and commitment of everyone involved. By working together and harnessing the power of imagination, we can create a world where land is stewarded for the benefit of all, not just a privileged few.

Captured questions with some answers: How to Start a PREC

How to Choose Between a Coop or a Nonprofit for your Rad Real Estate Project

Recording & Slide Deck

Key Takeaways

  • Your choice of entity doesn’t define the type of organization you are or whether you’re extractive and harmful or good. Instead, we like to think of entities as tools that come with certain sets of advantages and disadvantages and you just have to figure out what works best for your group. And this presentation is a place to get started, but it’s probably not going to get you all the way to where you need to be, because there are so many different options for how to choose an entity structure. But hopefully it will aid you in understanding your options, fleshing out your vision, and ultimately bringing you closer together and closer to your goals.

  • To get on the same page about how entity and tax status interact, and how they work together, we like to use this cake metaphor.
    You can think of the sponge of the cake as the entity and the icing as the tax status. You can mix and match them. And then, there is infinite possibility for the ingredients you choose to make up your cake and icing -- in your internal financial, governance, and operational structure. This is the stuff that shows up in your policies, practices, culture, and bylaws.

  • In general, there are three basic categories of entities or cakes that you can form in most states: Public benefit, which includes regular nonprofit corporations, mutual benefit, which includes cooperative corporations and nonprofit mutual benefit corporations, and for-profit/shareholder-owned, which includes regular corporations, but also things like cooperatives formed as LLCs and social benefit corporations or B-corps.

Additional Resources

Our friends at Urban Homesteading Assistance Board have several valuable resources of note. They have a robust training calendar, as well as two FAQs: one for explaining how a limited-equity co-op works and one for specific problems HDFC co-op shareholders may have. Finally, this page explains what an HDFC co-op is (a common type of housing co-op in NYC) and has a cool map of all the limited-equity housing co-ops in NYC.

Look at our supporters!

Thank you to the dozens of people who donated to support our #TenantsWithoutLandlords campaign. We raised $18,858, with 10% going to our solidarity partner, Wood Street Commons. We say thank you to our guest presenters Avery Yu, Michael Trujillo, Richard Hulbert, Shira Shaham, Lauren Tarpey, and Karl Mill. Thank you to our interpreters from Community Language Cooperative. Thank you to the Housing Justice Narrative Initiative for their thoughtful and beautifully designed Housing Justice Narrative Toolkit, which helped us shape our messaging. And thank you to our sponsors:


Showing 1 reaction

  • Mwende Hinojosa
    published this page in Blog 2023-07-06 10:26:51 -0700

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