This Is Our Land, Not A Money-Making Scheme

Can organizers for a network of community land trusts in Los Angeles help keep real estate out of the control of giant corporations?

Boyle Heights Sign

Boyle Heights (Photo by fliegender / CC BY 2.0)

The housing collapse of the early 2000s changed how banks do business, and that’s caused an explosion of corporations becoming landlords. Wall Street reportedly bought up $60 billion worth of homes in the aftermath of the crisis. 

One neighborhood in Los Angeles is part of a groundswell of community land trusts that are trying to keep the control of land and property out of giant corporations’ portfolios and in the hands of communities. 

“It's kind of going back to the way things were in the beginning before we got colonized, when we were all in community,” says Fanny Guzman Ortiz, founder of Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre. “We lived together and it wasn't about how much you could afford in paying or rent. It was just about making sure that you lived with dignity and that you had the basic needs.”

In this episode of the podcast, Next City executive director Lucas Grindley talks with Ortiz, and with senior economics correspondent Oscar Perry Abello, who reported on how her nonprofit and others like it are strengthened in their fight by some dramatic changes in California law. 

Listen to this episode below, or subscribe to Next City’s podcast on Apple and Spotify.

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