PEOPLE POWERED DEVELOPMENT

Our Vision
We envision a world in which safe and healthy housing is a right and not a privilege. Everyone is empowered to create thriving communities that nurture the minds, bodies, and spirits of each community member.

Our Mission
Our mission is to develop cooperative, affordable real estate alternatives that empower people to create intentional communities that are ecologically, emotionally, spiritually, culturally, and economically regenerative. Our movement is People Of Color (POC)-centered with a focus on creating deeply diverse communities.

The Basics

A PREC is structured as a cooperative corporation, which has at least three built-in perks:
  • A cooperative’s primary governing body is chosen and major decisions are made on a one-member one-vote basis, meaning that democracy is embedded in the legal structure.
  • Cooperative corporations are limited in their ability to pay high returns on capital, meaning they cannot be vehicles for making the wealthy wealthier.
  • The Sustainable Economies Law Center recently helped write and pass a law that gives California cooperative corporations a securities exemption, allowing them to raise capital by selling membership shares for up to $1,000 each.

Governance structure: The envisioned governance structure of PRECs empowers members to self-organize. Groups of members can search for properties, raise capital, and shepherd housing into the cooperative, with support and approval of a governing board.

Title and long-term protection: The cooperative holds title to the land and housing and adopts multiple restraints on its own ability to sell properties. To keep it off the speculative market in the long-term, the cooperative preferably gives multiple land trusts and other PRECs rights (through deed restrictions, easements, co-ownership, and purchase options) to enforce affordability restrictions and to take ownership of projects that are abandoned.

Homebuying: Members who live on the cooperative’s properties will pay a “purchase” price for a long-term lease, and the experience will simulate direct homeownership in many ways. Resident control: The cooperative will set minimum standards of maintenance, but the residents will control most decisions related to the property. Limited returns: When a member “sells” their lease, they will receive a pre-determined price that will give them a modest return (likely tied to the Consumer Price Index or a similar index) on their purchase price, as well as compensation for improvements.

Our Story

The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Inc (EB PREC) was born out of a collaboration between the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN) and the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC).
POCSHN
SELC
The People of Color Sustainable Housing Network is a resource network for people of color building intentional, healthy, collective and affordable housing communities in the Bay Area and beyond.  By supporting the creation of indigenous, low-income and people of color-led housing and land projects that focus on collective land ownership & stewardship, resident-controlled housing, and cooperative economic models, the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network hopes to foster long-term replicable strategies and tactics for housing, food and land-use movements. 
The Sustainable Economies Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. They provide essential legal tools so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community. They provide essential legal resources to support the transition to more just and resilient local economies. The Law Center conceptualized the core PREC model.

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