40 acres and a mule: Black people reclaiming land
The VOLAR community investment trust fund will ensure that local, generational, Black residents in historically redlined and urban renewal communities actually co-own the land in their communities.
The core of VOLAR’s innovation is in how Black people in historically disinvested communities become landowners, reclaiming the ’40 acres’ land that was promised 157 years ago. This reclamation of land will occur through the opportunity to invest as little as $10/month to be a shareholder/land-owner. During redevelopment in communities like Middle East Baltimore/Oldtown where we live, there is a lot of speculative development and very little affordable housing built for rental or homeownership. Our solution is to assure local residents co-own the land that is being redeveloped and reclaim land in their own community. We can do this by assuring co-operative ownership through shares that return on investment by small dollar investors. This begins to build asset in communities historically left out of investment markets. As we acquire and co-own housing, we decide the price of resale to assure affordability to local residents. Residents receive a return on their investment and over time gain assets and capital and are able to purchase their own house/qualify for mortgages and can become owner-occupied home-owners.