By Saki Bailey for Shareable
Excerpt: The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is an impressive burgeoning commons legal institution that's aimed at the decommodification of housing. It is pioneering a new legal institution for how we can own homes more equitably, collaboratively, and in such a way that they're permanently off the speculative market.
The folks at the Sustainable Economies Law Center [Shareable's editorial partner] and the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network, the incubators for the cooperative, understood the necessity of building something different from existing legal institutions to address the crisis of affordable housing. At the same time, they were keen on learning from and building on the outcomes of past models. They appreciated how community land trusts and limited equity housing cooperatives remove housing from the speculative market and place restraints on transfers at below market rate, effectively capping the ability to make money off of home sales to reasonable rates of equity. However, they felt that restricting this to only low and moderate income households was too limited. They sought to change the way that everyone, regardless of their income level, thought about housing, especially the idea of housing as vessels for investments.