Inclusive Economy | May 23, 2023

Funders commit $10 million to combat California’s housing crisis with community ownership

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, May 23 – Nearly 30% of America’s homeless live in California. Among the state’s extremely low-income households who are housed, nearly 80% face severe cost burdens because of the high price of rent.

Common Counsel Foundation and Possibility Labs are joining forces to foster community ownership across the state through shared equity models like land trusts and housing cooperatives.

The Community Ownership for Community Power, or COCP, fund secured $10 million from The California Endowment, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the James Irvine, San Francisco and Weingart foundations.

COCP’s aim is to demonstrate “the potential of community ownership to address rampant displacement of historically low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and communities of color and the catalytic role philanthropy can play in this work,” the partners said in a statement.

COCP has disbursed $2.2 million to 14 organizations, including Casa Familiar, OakCLT, THRIVE Santa Ana, and both San Francisco and South Bay Community Land trusts.

COCP is targeting an additional $12 million in philanthropic commitments. The partners have their sights set on a larger $100 million investment fund that will be governed directly by the communities it supports.