Funding the Ecosystem: Organizing to Build Housing and Community Ownership Opportunities
In the same community where George Floyd was brutally murdered by police, Minneapolis tenants tirelessly organize with United Renters for Justice for racial justice, tenant protections, eviction moratoriums, and canceling rent. For years, tenants of five buildings were threatened to be evicted by a negligent landlord despite the lack of upkeep on the buildings, which included rodents, heating, and plumbing issues. Eviction seemed certain once the pandemic hit since the families — most of whom are immigrants and don’t have health care or access to government benefits — had collectively gone on rent strike.
As part of a successful class-action lawsuit against the landlord, thirty-eight families in South Minneapolis will eventually gain ownership of their five apartment buildings after spending years battling with their landlord.
The Land Bank Twin Cities bought the five properties in the Corcoran neighborhood for $7.1 million with a loan from the city and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Twin Cities. The two entities also provided financing to make necessary repairs to the properties. Over the next two years, the Land Bank Twin Cities will transfer ownership of the properties to the residents, who have named the buildings the “Sky Without Limits Community.” They plan to own the buildings as a cooperative and allow more families to move in — just 34 of the 69 units are currently occupied.
This week, NFG's Democratizing Development Program is excited to host a conversation with the McKnight Foundation, United Renters for Justice, and the Land Bank Twin Cities on short and longer-term strategies to address affordable housing and community development solutions during the pandemic. We will discuss how organizing, power building, place-based grantmaking strategies, and aligned investment supported the ecosystem of organizations to build community ownership opportunities for low-income and communities of color.
- Eric Muschler, Program Officer, Vibrant & Equitable Communities, McKnight Foundation
- Roberto de la Riva Rojas, Co-Director, United Renters for Justice/Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia
- Chloe Jackson, Organizer, United Renters for Justice/Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia
- Eddie Landenberger, Vice President & Senior Program Manager, Land Bank Twin Cities
If you have questions for this strategy session, please contact Nile Malloy at email@example.com.
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