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Orsi’s ‘permanent real estate cooperatives’ in Next City

December 5, 2019

Post Carbon Fellow Janelle Orsi explains ‘permanent real estate cooperatives’in this article on fighting speculative development in Oakland.

From the article:

So in January 2016, on a long ride to visit family in Los Angeles, Orsi sketched out the rough idea for a new kind of entity enabled by California’s cooperative law. The new entity would take property out of the speculative market and into shared ownership, combining resident owners and non-resident owners of multiple properties in one portfolio — an entity Orsi dubbed, “a permanent real estate cooperative.”

Then, in February 2016, a member of the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network walked into the Law Center’s “legal café” — basically open office hours that the Law Center hosts three times a month outside its offices. Starting out as a meetup group in 2015, the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network grew quickly to more than a thousand members. After the meeting, Orsi sent the group the rough sketch she had just wrote of a permanent real estate cooperative, and the light bulbs went off almost instantly. The Law Center started meeting regularly with the network to discuss initial details, and the two organizations incorporated EB PREC in 2017.

In some ways a permanent real estate cooperative is like a conventional real estate business. In other ways it’s radically different…