Saturday, November 17, 2018
East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust
East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust

Our Mission

The East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust (EHEBCLT) works to develop and preserve community-controlled, truly and permanently affordable housing, commercial, green and cultural spaces in East Harlem/El Barrio that prioritizes households of extremely low to low incomes.

As a strategy to ensure permanent affordability, the East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust will own land and lease it to buildings on that land, as well as develop a resident-controlled Mutual Housing Association.

“The CLT model’s flexibility and adaptability to local conditions make it an appealing solution to a range of problems affecting communities across the country including disinvestment, gentrification and displacement, foreclosure, loss of affordability due to expiring public subsidy, housing discrimination, and decreasing social capital.”
— Oksana Mironova, Urban Omnibus

Our Statement of Principles

  • To provide housing for people who have low or moderate income, especially those who are homeless and/or who have extremely low incomes;
  • To maintain the quality and affordability of the housing provided for future residents of the community who have low or moderate incomes;
  • To combat community deterioration by promoting the development, rehabilitation, and maintenance of decent housing that is truly affordable to people who are homeless or have extremely low incomes;
  • To make land available for projects and activities that improve economic opportunities and quality of life in the community;
  • To protect the natural environment and promote the ecologically sound use of land and natural resources and the long-term health and safety of the community;
  • To less the burdens of government by entering into agreements to preserve the long-term affordability of housing made affordable through government subsidies and policies.

Our Board

The East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust board works to develop and preserve community-controlled, truly and permanently affordable housing, commercial, green and cultural spaces in East  Harlem/El Barrio that prioritizes households of extremely low to low incomes.

Co-Chair, Lynn Lewis

Lynn Lewis has resided in El Barrio since 2000 and is the past ED of Picture the Homeless.  She is a founding board member of the EHEBCLT, and also serves on the board of the Cooper Square CLT. She is an oral history student at Columbia University.

Co-Chair, Marina Ortiz

Marina Ortiz is the Founder and President of East Harlem Preservation, which works to address local environmental and affordable housing issues. She has an extensive background in independent journalism and social justice activism.

Secretary, Linda Levy

Linda Levy is the CEO of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, which has a branch in East Harlem.

Director of Community Outreach and Organizing, Rosa Custodio

A life-long resident of East Harlem, Rosa Custodio is a founding tenant in a local HDFC building.

Valerio Orselli

Valerio OrselliValerio Orselli brings a wealth of experience as the Project Director of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, Executive Director of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, and Executive Director of the Cooper Square Committee.

Nilsa Orama

A lifelong resident of East Harlem, Nilsa is chair of Manhattan Community Board #11.