Buying land and converting it into a communal project can cause headaches from a legal perspective. How are ecovillages doing it? I’d love for us to share resources and our own stories about land purchasing and ownership models in this thread. If you’re an ecovillager, tell us about how your community found suitable land, or the land ownership model you follow! If you find any useful websites or documents around this issue, please also share them here.
Obviously each country has its own models and challenges, so please specify the country you’re talking about when you post. As people post resources, I’ll try and add them into this post so we maintain an ongoing list.
The Ecological Land Co-Op is a very inspiring organisation, not only for their mission but also their cooperative model . You can check out the resources they’ve created about buying land here.
In the Netherlands we are the first project of VrijCoop, an association of social rental communities. VrijCoop makes sure that our houses can never be sold and that all rental income that is left after paying the bank, will be used to finance starting communities. In our case this means that after 30 years Boekel Ecovillage will finance starting Dutch ecovillages with € 250.000 per year. These are zero rent, high risk loans. In Germany this already excists as the Miethäuser syndikat for 30 years. They now have 170 communities. Each year new communities present themselves and sometime walk out with a million on loans. Within another 30 years a bank might not be neccesary to finance a new community, as the number of communities increases with 5-10 each year.
Thanks for sharing Ad! I was aware of the German system but didn’t know there was also a Dutch model. I’ll add the links to our resource list, financing is such a huge challenge for many so it’s exciting to see tried and tested, functional models. This could be a subject for a webinar in future…