We're thrilled to announce the launch of the Saint Paul Shared Ownership Collaborative!
WSCO is joining forces with organizations across Saint Paul to ensure our communities have the power, resources and support to design, own and make decisions about their land, labor and housing.
Too many West Siders are being displaced from our neighborhood because they can't afford the rent. Too many small West Side businesses are struggling to make ends meet. We want to build a future where all West Siders can put down deep roots and build a future here for their families!
Around the country, communities are turning to new models for how to organize cooperatives, share some of the costs of owning a home, apartment building, or business, and keep wealth in the community. For the past year, we've been gathering with West Siders to learn about some of these shared ownership models, and hear firsthand from people who've made this dream a reality.
Interested in learning more? Stay tuned for upcoming community conversations where West Siders can get connected to this work!
Why Shared Ownership?
Conventional economic development practices have inflicted economic, social, and political violence on BIPOC and low-wealth communities for generations. As organizations on the front lines of these historic and ongoing harms, we see the devastating impacts on families AND the power and resilience of our communities to guide and govern their own liberatory futures.
Who We Are
We are the dreamers and the doers. We are an intentional collaboration of BIPOC-led organizations energized by a spirit of possibility and sustained by our unwavering conviction that our communities must have the power, resources and support to design, own and make decisions about their land, labor and housing. Our collaborative currently includes Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), Model Cities, Rondo Community Land Trust, and West Side Community Organization.
We center directly impacted communities — and people who have been historically harmed and excluded — in decision-making about their land, labor and housing.
We disrupt the ways white supremacy has shaped funding and policies to divide our movements and strip our communities of their rightful resources and agency.
We start from a shared understanding that programs, policies and projects must recognize and seek to repair past harms, accounting for community trauma and holding actors accountable for their past and/or ongoing impacts.
We honor the agency and autonomy of individuals and the abundance of the collective, seeking to co-create culturally affirming choices that meet our communities where they’re at — and create pathways to where they want to go.
Our purpose is to build a new community development paradigm powered by the ingenuity and expertise of our communities that creates real, radical and lasting transformation. We are creating intentional space and capacity to dream, design and activate cross-organizational strategies that increase BIPOC community ownership of their land, labor and housing.
With our unique assets and roles, we seek to usher in a future where:
our communities are mobilized and exist in solidarity through the power of organizing
we collectively steward the land through the land trust model for future generations
housing is not a commodity but a fundamental right and accessible to everyone
we own the means and fruits of our labor and shape dignified workplaces through worker cooperatives
Secure and redistribute resources to liberate community wealth
Capitalize a number of funds with blended capital approaches, including specific reparation funds
Lay the groundwork for community investment models
Develop a new model for individual credit building with a debt forgiveness component and proactively embed financial trauma approaches as core to upward economic mobility
Nurture the soil and prepare the pipeline for increased community ownership
Build the bench of shared ownership model technical assistance providers and grow connections and collaborations with other practitioners in the field
Advance the Golden Thyme Coffee and Café conversion to multi-stakeholder cooperative
Advance a sector-based worker cooperative strategy in the Home Care and Construction industries, targeted due to high rates of wage theft, unsafe working conditions and exploitation
Advance place-based residential shared ownership models, including cooperatives and land trust
Advocate for embedding permanent reparative and shared ownership policies, programs and funding streams
Engage community and practitioners to identify and develop a platform to advance policy and investment shifts in St. Paul and Ramsey County
Advocate and expand opportunities to advance reparative efforts beyond Rondo—with immediate replication targets on the West Side Flats—by building on the City of St. Paul’s Inheritance Fund designed to bring back displaced Rondo families and align/grow Rondo CLT’s Right to Return to Rondo
Complete West Side Community Organization’s year-long community participatory research project to articulate the harmful and traumatic effects of the mass displacement on the immigrant community on the West Side Flats through eminent domain by the City of St. Paul in the 1960’s
Advocate for the establishment of a cultural corridor or district designation and aligned funding to resource place keeping, culture bearers and related development
Work to preserve and revitalize cultural commercial corridors
Concentrating first on the Selby Avenue and Cesar Chavez corridors, pursue strategic acquisitions of land within community ownership frameworks, including the advancement of a small scale business incubator on Selby Ave and the first Latinx History and Cultural Museum of Minnesota in collaboration with an artist collective