Centering Community Power

A Growing Ecosystem for Thriving Neighborhoods

Community organizing and power building are vital components to the success of community ownership models, specifically where Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and communities of color have self-determined agency in decisions that shape their lives.

Across the country, tenants and organizers are building community wealth, lasting affordability of land and housing, and paving the way for a just and equitable future. The ecosystem of community ownership models is expansive, and includes community-led initiatives such as community land trusts, housing cooperatives, and other models that are developed by and for the benefit of residents.

Want a primer? Learn more about community land trusts in California and watch an explainer from our friends at CA Community Land Trusts.

Community Ownership Remains an Underfunded Model

Racialized and Historical Barriers
to Community Ownership

California’s housing affordability crisis and rampant displacement disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and communities of color and low-income communities.

Denial of civic participation has resulted in decades of inequitable neighborhood policies and programs that deny communities the right to housing.

Lack of access by community ownership groups to streamlined general operating support from philanthropy that would otherwise build and sustain their capacity.

Perpetuated racial biases and patterns of disinvestment in financing products and financial systems, and lack of sufficient patient, flexible capital for acquisitions.

On the role of philanthropy to accelerate community ownership models

“ We want community ownership models to be more prevalent in terms of a solution to California's housing crisis. By engaging with philanthropy in a new way, we get to sit at the table and design the infrastructure that's needed so tenants could acquire their buildings for permanent tenancy. ”

Roberto Garcia-Ceballos, Co-Director,
Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre (FCTL)

A Collective Call-to-Action

Our Approach to Strengthening
Community Organizations

Catalytic Grantmaking

Grantmaking to community ownership organizations to build their internal capacity to undertake and manage larger scale projects.

Co-Design of an
Integrated Capital

A co-design process led by community ownership groups to launch a new, unique state-wide, community-governed, integrated capital acquisition fund for real estate, with an ambitious long-term goal of up to $300 million that will further leverage public and private funds for the field.


Targeted engagement opportunities for funders to learn, innovate, and share around new practices, including how to build a regenerative funding structure that fills the gap in financing, investment, and capacity building as well as how to organize energized funders towards the philanthropic capital raise and the integrated capital acquisition fund.

Ecosystem Narrative Change

Amplification of the evolution and shared understanding of community ownership and governance as defined by frontline organizations, including stories from the cohort and insights learned through the co-design process.

A Critical Next Step

Help Advance the Community Ownership Movement

The Community Ownership for Community Power Fund aims to propel the robust ecosystem of community ownership groups in California that are emphasizing holistic solutions towards affordable housing, community wealth building, economic mobility, climate resilience, racial justice, equitable food access, and more. Join our community of practice in catalytically resourcing community organizations so that all residents can build thriving neighborhoods.

Are You a Prospective Funder?

Contact Us

Our Community Ownership Partners

Our Funding Partners

The Community Ownership for Community Power Fund is an initiative of Common Counsel Foundation.

COCP Fund is a sister strategy to the Fund for an Inclusive California, a community-led pooled fund that resources power building and grassroots organizing.

Common Counsel Foundation is a progressive funder with over 35 years of experience funding social movement work. We align our priorities and strategies with frontline communities, with a focus on shifting decision-making power and challenging traditional philanthropic practices.