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.
What We Do
We build long-term power by securing BIPOC community control over land and housing. EHEBCLT formed in 2014 as a pilot project of the NYC Community Land Initiative (NYCCLI), with organizing support from Picture the Homeless members. In November 2020, we acquired our first four buildings for $1 each from the City of New York, becoming the first new CLT in NYC to win city-owned properties.
This win represents a major victory for NYC’s growing CLT and cooperative movement, and proves the viability of social housing at a critical moment. With the expiration of New York’s eviction moratorium in January 2022, 220,000 New Yorkers are facing eviction, and nearly 600,000 are behind on rent, with BIPOC renters disproportionately impacted. As of the spring of 2022, rents in NYC have also increased 35% in the last year, exacerbating a housing crisis that had already hit neighborhoods like East Harlem the hardest. A majority Black and brown community and home to the largest concentration of Puerto Ricans in the U.S, East Harlem also has the highest rate of poverty in Manhattan and many vacant and underutilized properties, which puts it at high risk of speculative development and displacement. While much attention has rightly focused on emergency tenant organizing and addressing rent arrears, transforming the speculative ownership models that drive evictions and homelessness is equally critical, and CLTs are a proven strategy to achieve this goal.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we have been working hard with residents and our community and coalition partners to create tenant-run, permanently affordable housing and build resident and coalition power.
Our Staff and 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.