We're building a comprehensive library of resources and tool to spread a transformative vision for humanity's relationship to land. Check out our videos, toolkits, templates, handouts, blog posts, books, and more below! 

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Resources for Radical Real Estate Projects

Land Return and Housing JusticeSELC Team at 2023 SELC Staff Retreat


🧰 Seeds of Land Return Toolkit (2022)

Click here to access Seeds of Land ReturnWe created this Toolkit, inspired by work we’ve done with BIPOC-led land stewardship organizations like Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, and others.

We want to bring ease to the process of land return. Some resources here are quite different from conventional legal documents. 

We wrote this for two audiences: (1) those who will return land and (2) those who will receive it, although that’s a binary that will blur in countless situations, as complex webs of relationships are woven around land. A vision is that land trusts and cooperatives could share a resource like this with the public. The “You” is mostly the person who owns land to be returned.

Also check out Janelle Orsi’s article Legal Tools for Land Return to learn more about the experiences and considerations that shaped the unique approach to this Toolkit. 

📖 Sample Rematriation Easement (2022) (template)

This Easement is written with plain language, graphics, and sometimes even sweetness and humor, so that people of all ages and backgrounds might be drawn to read, understand, remember, and act upon this Easement. 

This sample is a legally enforceable document, even though it does not resemble typical lawyer documents that are filled with words and devoid of feeling.

This document aims to invoke the feelings of affection of connection that support caring relationships between people and land. We believe that the inclusion of feelings should enhance the enforceability of a real estate document, because the relationships most beneficial to land are formed on the basis of caring and affection, not on the basis of dry transactional legal and financial terms negotiated by rational actors negotiating at arm’s length.

📄 How to Start a Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (2022)

How to Start a Permanent Real Estate CooperativeMany people have asked us for help starting a Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (PREC), so we’ve gathered some thoughts and resources here as a starting point. We’re writing from the perspective of a PREC’s legal team, which is just one angle from which to view PRECs. The staff and members of EB PREC, for example, could offer countless other angles – how to shape culture, craft communications, organize communities, manage workplaces, and so much more. In fact, we think those angles are far more important to the vitality of a PREC. 

That said, we’ll share some key principles and considerations that have shaped the legal, financial, and governance structures of a PREC. We hope that you benefit from what’s here and enjoy the adventure you may be embarking on. 

📝 How to Transfer Real Estate Without Professionals (2022) (bite-sized legal guide)

Who should use this guide: People in California who want to transfer title to a property and keep things simple, without a real estate agent, title, or escrow company. 

A land trust once asked us: “If someone wants to sell us a house for $100,000, is it enough if we just write them a check and they sign a deed? Or do we have to do all that stuff with realtors and escrow?” Good question! We put our radical real estate hats on and then we put together the following resource so we could do it in California. It CAN be fairly simple. Apart from the deed and the check, there are usually a few tax authorities who will want you to do some paperwork, and there are a few other steps the law requires, mostly designed to protect the buyers or fix building safety issues. If you have patience to read and understand all of these resources, you can likely save a lot of money and paperwork if you want to do things yourself. 

 📝 How to Get Property Tax Welfare Exemption (2022) (bite-sized legal guide)

Who should use this guideCalifornia groups who are building radical real estate projects together and are considering applying for property tax exemption.

The welfare exemption is a property tax exemption for certain properties owned by nonprofits (other types of exemptions apply to churches and religious organizations). Eligibility is based on two distinct factors: who owns the property and for what purpose the property is being used. These requirements are color-coded among organizational matters and property matters

Check out this step-by-step guide to obtaining property tax exemption for your radical real estate project.

▶️ Legal Structures for Radical Real Estate (2 hour teach-in)
▶️ Part 1 of the Radical Homeownership (webinar)
▶️ Part 2 of the Radical Homeownership (MCLE) 
📄 Nonprofit or Cooperative for Radical Real Estate Projects? (handout to help you figure out if you should form a nonprofit or housing coop)
📄 Template: Sharing Agreement for Co-housing Projects (contract template with catroons)
🧰 Cohousing Toolkit
⏺ More Radical Real Estate Law School Webinars (event recordings)
▶️ Permanently protecting community assets from sale (short cartoon workshop)
The Pathologies of Homeownership (short cartoon)
📄 Sample: Cartoon Bylaws of East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (sample bylaws)
🧰 Fair & Just Commercial Lease Toolkit
📚 Resource library: www.CommunityHousingLaw.org
📰 Now is the time to take radical steps toward housing equity YES! Magazine article

Food, farming, & compost law:
Food & FarmFood & Farm

📝 Resources for Food Sovereignty (webpage)
A Scary Carrot Story: Compost Law & the Future of Our Soil (cartoon)
▶️ Compost Law Basics (cartoon)
Resource library: www.CompostLaw.org 
Resource library: www.UrbanAgLaw.org 
Guidebook: Legal Eats: Legal Resources for Food Justice Enterprises
▶️ 6 Ways a Food Cooperative Can Change the Economy
▶️ Playlist of videos on food justice enterprises

▶️ Nano Training: Advising Beginning Farmers

Community-owned solar:Energy Sovereignty

The People Power Solar Cooperative celebrates the installation of the first cooperatively-owned solar project in California

📝 Resources for Energy Democracy (webpage)
▶️ About People Power Solar Cooperative (short cartoon)
▶️ Video about People Power’s first project 
📄 Cartoon Bylaws of People Power Solar Cooperative, and one of their cartoon site host agreements
▶️ Community-Owned Renewable Energy Puzzle (cartoon)
▶️ The Story of the Permanent Community Energy Cooperative (short cartoon)
▶️ Energy is Like WHOA! (short cartoon)
▶️ Building Grassroots-led Community-owned Energy Projects

Money & finance:
Money & Finance

🧰 Collection of Resources: Funding for Economic Democracy Toolkit (2022)
🧰 Guidebook:
Mutual Aid Legal Toolkit
▶️ Mutual Aid and the Law (video)
▶️ Legal Frontiers of Foundation Investments (cartoon)
▶️ A cartoony video relentlessly – but also seriously – poking at the prudent man rule 
▶️ Tax categories explained by cake! (short cartoon workshop)
▶️ Cartoons explaining financial regulation (10 min cartoon)
How the Law Center distributes financial management
▶️ Short cartoon workshops about securities offering documents: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
▶️ Black Capital Matters! (interview series)
A cartoon on financial audits
▶️ A cartoon on nonprofit 990 tax returns
▶️ Short cartoon on self-directed retirement investments
❤️ Join this community to get resources on retirement savings: www.TheNextEgg.org 
📖 Guidebook: Grassroots financing for CA farmers
▶️ Community Investment Funds (webinar)
▶️ Securities law basics (short cartoon)

Our Blog Posts
Blog Posts

📝 Resources for Radical Home Sellers
📝 Remembering When Land Was There For Us 
📝 Patches of Aliveness
📝 Mutuality Month Recap and Resources
📝 The Forbidden Eroticism of Real Estate
📝 Private Property is a Fictitious Notion
📝 #RadicalRealEstateWeek Recap 
📝 Social housing is the only way forward
📝 Teachgiving
📝 A Life (un)Determined by Borders: Healing with the land and with Each Other
📝 Organize, Reach Out, Assemble, GROW!

Speak to a Lawyer
Speak to a LawyerSELC Team Members and Family at Shelterwood Collective

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