Video by Shoestring Videos: shoestringvideo.org
A real estate investment cooperative (REIC) allows individuals to pool their money and energy to invest in real estate for the benefit of their various communities for the long haul.
At this initial gathering, advocates discussed the REIC model, shared examples of how cooperative financing has worked in other places. Participants talked about how to implement this model in their own neighborhoods in small groups, and heard from two organizations that need investors to help them retain community space.
What is a REIC? The idea is that people pool money in cooperative investment group(s) and these investment groups buy buildings and lease them affordably or make very low interest loans available to others to buy or renovate property for community-serving uses. The ultimate property owners would be community land trusts set up to manage the land and cooperatives and non-profits set up to manage the assets on the land. We hope that this kind of participation in co-creating our city will give us control of the kind of place we want it to be, and imagine a city with a multitude of investment groups that reflect and amplify the multitude of our interests.
Why did organizers call the gathering? In their words: When we learned that a group of neighbors in Minneapolis pooled enough money to purchase buildings and lease them at affordable rates to local businesses, we wanted to do it in NYC. We made a survey to see if people were interested in this model, called a real estate investment cooperative, and in 10 days 300 people had pledged $1M. See the survey here to make a pledge: http://goo.gl/forms/km8k2Bg4d4
We have the political and fiscal power to preserve the spaces we care about and to expand the opportunities for creating institutions that will shape the city we want to live in. Let's harness it together!
For some detailed background, read about about a similar (but locally relevant) project in Minneapolis: neic.coop/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/NEIC-Presentation-for-Web-03.01.15.pdf