Community Ownership

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What is community ownership?

It's both a pathway to equitable economic opportunity, and our guiding mission.

Community Ownership exists when everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or orientation, can benefit from a community's economic success.

Built on a set of principles defined by the SPARCC initiative, a partnership among Enterprise Community Partners, the Low Income Investment Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council and driven by the pursuit of better economic outcomes, Community Ownership is fundamental to what Rochdale Capital is, how we work, and why we came to be. 

What exactly is community ownership?

Historically in the US, property ownership has been defined by legal, financial, and social exclusion. This reality has stolen Indigenous sovereignty on ancestral lands, created and amplified a racial wealth gap, kept working people perpetually segregated and politically marginalized, and helped ensure that one of the best determinants of a child’s future is his zip code.

The idea of community ownership is a straightforward concept—a community owns the “thing” (usually property) under consideration. The community then must determine which of the many forms of community ownership fits its needs. It can include collective ownership of land and buildings through land trust and co-operatives; it can also include entrepreneurial and cooperative ownership of the businesses that might occupy them. Community ownership envisions opening the ownership of homes, commercial property, and backyard cottages to the people who have built and who maintain the culture of the community. It also opens a pathway for low-income and people of color to local control of community assets. It contemplates the way that people build resilient networks, expand political power, protect, and elevate shared culture, and seed personal wealth.

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Community Ownership

We would like to expand upon SPARCC definition and while we greatly support collective ownership of land and buildings through land trust and cooperatives, we also imagine an expansion of the ownership to include community solar, health, facilities and entrepreneurship.

At Rochdale Capital, our success is measured by the vibrancy of the communities we serve, the capital we deliver, and the equitable economic opportunity enjoyed by all. We ask that you assist in our attempt to expand community ownership and the impact that we may have.