Our Community Land Trust
Maafa Community – a village dedicated to our ancestors and our on going struggle.
Maafa (or African Holocaust, Holocaust of Enslavement, or Black holocaust as alternatives) are terms used to describe the history and on-going effects of atrocities inflicted on African people. The Maafa is held to have started with the Arab and Atlantic slave trades, and continued through imperialism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression to the present day.
Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead
Land Trusts have sprung up all over the country starting in the late 1800’s and the early 1900s when the Forest Society was founded. There are now more than 1,700 land trusts across the country ranging from all volunteer local groups to national professionally staffed organizations. Whatever size they may be, land trusts can be extremely effective at protecting land through grass-roots campaigns.
This is a complex undertaking, and requires a substantial commitment of time and resources by a number of people. Land trusts are typically incorporated with the secretary of state, which involves creating by-laws and a board of directors. We must also have non-profit tax status from the Internal Revenue Service, which involves a fairly lengthy application and great attention to financial details. Reports must be filed annually with both the secretary of state and the IRS. We must also concern ourselves with financial management and insurance issues, create and sustain public support, and determine which land protection projects we are able to undertake.
It is also important to understand that land trusts are required by law to uphold the terms of the conservation easements we will hold in perpetuity. This requires financial and human resources that must be considered long and hard with every land protection transaction. Creating a land trust requires a great deal of time, energy and financial resources. Without the support and involvement of a broad group of people in the community, we will have a difficult time sustaining our organizations. It is most important that we have a group of diverse dedicated founding board members that can gain the support and interest of people that share their concerns.
What will Maafa Community do?
• Acquire and retains land in trust for the community and never sells it.
• Provide a very long-term lease of land, typically 99 years, for the exclusive use by individual homeowners, cooperative housing corporation(s), nonprofit developers, and other entities.
• Offer a deed (right of ownership) for the building or structure on trust land
• Retain an option to repurchase these buildings upon subsequent resale of property at a price, which is lower than the building’s market value, but gives the seller a fair return on investment.
How will Maafa Community work?
• Maafa Community is a member controlled nonprofit consisting of lessees of land and other stakeholders in the geographic boundaries of the Maafa Community.
• Variety of organizational structures including new, autonomous corporations; successors; affiliates; and programs of another nonprofit organization.
• The ground lease is a general characteristic of all community land trusts, Maafa Community retain ownership of the underlying land and not the buildings, In Maafa Community every residents owns the underlying land, we only have a right to repurchase these buildings at an affordable price if you choose to sell.
How will we provide our community benefits?
• Housing: Maafa Community will provide permanently affordable housing through below-market pricing and long-term contractual controls over the sub-letting and re-sale of owner-occupied homes.
• Jobs: Maafa Community will provide jobs through the development of small businesses, the use of local contractors, and through cooperative agreements with local banks.
• Environmental Quality: Maafa Community will provide environmental benefits through zero energy, and constant attention to environmentally sound housing design and materials.
• Community Spaces: Maafa Community will develop and manage vest-pocket parks and community gardens. We will develop public facilities like community centers, job training centers, and incubators space for nonprofit service organizations, all located on the Maafa Community land.
• Ownership Opportunities: Maafa Community will develop housing that is owner-occupied, subject to long-term controls over occupancy, condition, subletting, and resale.
Take a look at what we envision at Mahjoub.
What we need you to do, before you commit/pledge?
We ask that you check the database – we need to verify what we have in common.
Locate your origin – where did/do you and your ancestors come from?
In the the UK and Caribbean, who are you?
What do we plan to carry out?
We plan to build community wealth.
Identify existing strength in our disenfranchised communities and use that as leverage.
Build local equity in everything we do. Ownership matters.
Focus on increasing local circulation of goods and services as well as extend good and services to external communities.
Work with anchor institutions like universities, hospitals and government to support our economic development strategies.
Leverage funding from community foundations, anchors and other external city business development programs to support local wealth building.
Implement systematic local preferences procurement policies at all major institutions.
Make sure households and small to large business “buy local”.
Help retiring owners sell their businesses to their workers employee stock ownership plans.
Expand capacity to generate income through property management and other business development.
Develop Maafa Community Land Trust to offer and support affordable housing, stabilize our neighborhood to avoid gentrification problems that success may bring.
Avoid attack like predatory lending that can strip assets from our community.
Use individual development accounts, earned income tax credits and other mechanisms to help our residents save and acquire wealth.
Develop investment opportunities by promoting shared-equity and affordable shares of community-owned enterprises.
It’s one of several green ideas proposed but we think this one will work — a farm as the central focus that could grow crops and breed fish to be served in our community and sustain energy to its residents. This community is expected to produce as much or more energy than its residents consume, a situation known as net-zero energy.
We are embracing the idea of Tomorrows Living. It is a community solution with zero energy bills, zero governmental subsidies, zero carbon emissions, and zero additional investments, all at conventional costs. Maafa will consist of a state-of-the art technological solution to the environmental problems our world is facing. With solar heating and cooling, photo voltaic technologies, water treatment, green building material (such as the thermo-béton replacing conventional cement and U-PVC windows and doors), and agriculture and biomass and bio-fuel production, Maafa will be a self-sustaining community.
- Zero Ground Water
- Zero Fossil Fuel
- Zero Wastes
- Zero Governmental Investments and Subsidies
- All at conventional local building costs, built according to German and American standards.
When designed, the community,combination of two-story town-home, live/work and mixed use buildings, $90 million project would be the greenest (location: Ghana) purchased outright. Our development team is proposing 60,000 variations of sustainable living and work space, the community to serve as a model of green technologies in our communities. The community will consist of schools, a hospital, a cultural center, parks.. just to name a few. It will also consist of a mall; potential business owners will offer such product and services as clothing stores, food shops, a grocery, doctors and dentist offices.. basically one or two businesses for each of our ‘common needs’.
Maafa Community “contributors” will have access to land, business space and/or affordable housing (one of the options listed), televisions and a full set of energy-saving appliances — as that is the easiest way to guarantee that the project will generate more power than its residents consume.
This project funding goal is in increments, the first phase is project development and assembling the right team.
Building A NEW African Community – Starting all over again.
- Stand for a unique and compelling purpose. Since the mission is compelling enough, we can use a tin can and a piece of string to build our community. Meet new people who share the same interest, passion or goal. Access new and inspiring content or projects to do together with friends and family. Our community will offer a new and novel reason to exist “an independent, sustainable African community”
- We came up with an identity for our community members. MAAFA Before we ask our members to do anything, we will first encourage an identity. “become [MAAFA]” will make any call-to-action for this NEW community more powerful. We plan to work with our members to identify a final name, for now MAAFA is a place holder.
In 2014, we will invite the pre-developers first, people who will be part of the development process.
- Promotion of Community Cooperative
- Agriculture & Farming
- Real Estate & Land Reclamation
- Political Action
- Pan African Affairs
- Intelligence & Security
- Spiritual Life
- Family Life
- Purchasing & Supplies
- Rehabilitation (incarceration or drugs)
- Law & Judicial
- Elder Affairs
- Emergency Response: responding to fire, medical and disaster/crisis response.
- Mass Media and Communication
- And Finally…
- Growing a community is a lot like hosting a party. Every community needs hosts and that core set of folks – or pre-developers – to kick it off. We ask you to rally a few friends or colleagues before we invite the world. Get things started with a handful of conversations. It will work! We encourage our members to meet in person or virtual meeting. A face to name is much more personal. Our thriving community is self-organizing. We will use social media, among other resources to encourage ways for our members to learn and share together with each other, not just talk back at each other.
Trust, Community and Cooperation!
We have a whole lot more to share in the up and coming months, please stay tuned. In the meantime, please take a few moments to answer the question below, via email.
1) Would you take part in planning, developing, creating such a community?
2) What is your area of expertise (from the list above)?
3) Are you open to moving to different country entirely?
4) Have you ever traced your ancestry?
Send us an email!