© 2019-2025 BAY AREA COMMUNITY LAND TRUST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DESIGN BY VERNA LIM.

About us

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MISSION & VALUES

Our mission:

We create permanently affordable, resident-run housing cooperatives.

Our vision:

These cooperative communities benefit workers, families, students, seniors, disabled, low and middle income folks from diverse backgrounds — now and forever.

We believe ...

LAND USE SHOULD BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY

A land's value is derived from the surrounding community. Thus, it should benefit and sustain the whole community, not merely private parties. The land trust is a steward of the land and the co-op communities on that land.

DEMOCRATIC DECISION-MAKING

BACLT and its partner cooperatives are run democratically by their memberships; community and resident control are central to the land trust and co-op housing models.

PERMANENTLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Housing is a human right. Community ownership of the land keeps housing from being sold or rented to the highest bidder and keeps it affordable for future generations.

SHARING RESOURCES

Shared amenities (laundries, gardens, vehicles, tools and libraries) and pooled purchasing lower costs for everyone.

INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES

Co-ops must be open and welcoming to everyone. We aim for multi-generational diversity in cultures and incomes and to balance individual privacy with community relationships and voluntary resource sharing.

GREEN BUILDING AND LIVING

Sustainable urban living through re-use of materials, shared common spaces and gardens, alternative energy sources, recycling, composting, resource conservation.

 

OUR HISTORY

Bay Area Community Land Trust (BACLT) is a democratic community organization whose mission is to create permanently affordable and sustainable communities of cooperative homeowners, to take land and housing out of the speculative market and to stabilize our neighborhoods.

We currently have several affiliated housing co-ops in Berkeley and Oakland and more coming soon.

 

These co-ops have nearly 50 residents, including working families, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQ.

WHO WE ARE

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-based membership non-profit housing organization run by an elected Board made up of people who live in land trust-sponsored housing, the broader community, and people with technical skills to keep the CLT in good working order. In our model, our CLT:

  • buys properties to preserve housing affordability.

  • owns the land, but sells the buildings below market rate (because land isn't included) to residents who own, manage, and maintain them.

  • gives 99-land lease to co-op. 

  • restricts ownership to low-income residents who could not otherwise own their homes. 

 

OUR BOARD & STAFF:

33% RESIDENT GOVERNED

As a non-profit membership organization run by an elected Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director and staff members, our model adopts the classic tri-partite division, which ensures greater democratic involvement of regular people rather than a professionalized board.

 

As a result our board is roughly 1/3 residents of BACLT-owned properties, 1/3 local community members, and 1/3 experts in city administration, law and finance.

STAFF

TECH EXPERT, PRESIDENT
BETH YOUHN
TECH EXPERT, VICE PRESIDENT
STEPHEN BARTON
TECH EXPERT
CHRIS BAILEY
RESIDENT
WALTER HARDZOG
COMMUNITY PARTNER
AJA FASAH
RESIDENT, EXEC DIRECTOR
RICK LEWIS
TECH EXPERT, SECRETARY
MARIE WHIDDEN
COMMUNITY, TREASURER
MARY LUCAS MCDONALD
RESIDENT
MARCIA CAINE EDELEN
RESIDENT
REGINA MOUTON
COMMUNITY PARTNER
MIKE JONES
PROGRAM MANAGER
SAKI BAILEY

Board President Beth Youhn is the former Executive Director of Tradeswomen Inc., a nonprofit that supports tradeswomen, and assists unions and employers to recruit and retain skilled tradeswomen.

 

Ms. Youhn worked as a heavy equipment operator with Operating Engineers Local 3 for 20 years, and later worked to promote construction careers for women and minorities at Laney Community College and the City and Port of Oakland.

 

She serves on the California Apprenticeship Council’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Women in Apprenticeship, is a founding board member of Tradeswomen Now and Tomorrow, a national policy coalition, and is a founding member of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department’s Standing Committee on Women in the Trades.

Board President (since 2006)

BETH YOUHN

Board Secretary Marie Whidden is a founding member of BACLT, and was elected to the board in 2012. She has served actively as a member of the Membership Committee and assisted with many of BACLT’s events. She has been active in the community for 40 years, sponsoring youth groups, directing improvisational theater groups and volunteering in the schools. She has been a massage therapist and teacher for 31 years. She is a long-time co-op supporter, was a member of the Berkeley Food Co-op, and lived in a co-op in the 1980s.

Board Secretary 

MARIE WHIDDEN

Chris Bailey is a founding BACLT member and was elected to the board in 2009. She was one of the early women members of the Carpenters Union in the 1970's and an officer in the Oakland chapter in the 1980's. In 1985, she went to Nicaragua with the Bay Area Construction Brigade to build houses on a coffee cooperative. Ms. Bailey worked for Alameda County as a Construction Project Manager, the San Francisco Housing Authority as a Construction Inspector and recently retired from twelve years as a Building Inspector and Plans Examiner with the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

Tech Expert (since 2009)

CHRIS BAILEY

Walter Hardzog was elected to the board in 2018. He is a carpentry craftsman and a resident at Brown Shingle Collective He serves as an alternate board member.

 Resident

WALTER HARDZOG

Mike Jones is a filmmaker and a Bay Area native. He is a deacon and trustee of the McGee Avenue Baptist Church, a partner of BACLT’s Stuart Street project in South Berkeley.

Community Partner

MIKE JONES

Regina Mouton was elected to the board in 2018. Regina Mouton, a San Francisco native, has received training as an artist, historian and educator. Regina was an activist in the formation of the Women's Building in San Francisco where she focused on issues around reproductive rights, led workshops and participated on the steering committee of annual International Women's Day celebrations.

 

She taught art history at Mills College and San Francisco State University, and curated the first public art program for the City of Oakland, and other Bay Area galleries, museums, and institutions. She led docent programs working with artists, teachers and organizations to provide access to exhibits, performances, and arts/work-training programs for thousands of K-12 students.

 

Regina has raised her son in shared housing for the past decade, is an avid gardener and writer, and currently works as an education specialist for secondary students of color with learning differences in Oakland public schools.

Resident (since 2018)

REGINA MOUTON

Board Vice-President Stephen Barton retired from the City of Berkeley after serving as Housing Director, Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Board and as a housing planner. He has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and is the author of numerous articles on housing policy and economics. He received an Affordable Housing Leadership award from the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California in 2006 and a National Planning Award from the American Planning Association in 1997.

Board Vice President (since 2012)

STEPHEN BARTON

Board Treasurer Mary Lucas McDonald is a founder of the BACLT Hibiscus Commons project, a model for affordable elder housing cooperatives, which will help seniors of all incomes to retire comfortably and affordably in community. Mary served on the steering committee for United in Action, the community organization that developed the 2020 Vision to close the achievement gap in Berkeley schools. She volunteered for Ashby Village which helps seniors live independently. Mary is an avid dragon boater and served on the boating club’s non-profit board of directors as the outreach director.

Board Treasurer

MARY LUCAS McDONALD

Marcia Caine Edelen joined the board in 2014. She grew up and raised her family in West Berkeley. At the Consumers Co-op of Berkeley, she was an employee-member later elected to the CCB Board. She also served on the Board of the West Berkeley Fund for Community Progress and committees of the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition. In 2015, Marcia became a resident/member of Brown Shingle Mutual Housing, a resident-managed project of the BACLT. She has been an active member of the BACLT for several years.

Resident (since 2014)

MARCIA CAINE EDELEN

Aja Fasah was elected to the board in 2018. He is a resident and board member of the Oregon Park Senior Apartments, a resident controlled nonprofit.

Resident

AJA FASAH

Saki Bailey has nine years of experience in research, teaching, and policy work in the cooperative management of fundamental resources. Saki received her J.D. from UC Hastings and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Legal Theory at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden where she is researching cooperative models as a solution to the intensified shortages of affordable housing affecting many dense metropolitan areas in the US and Europe. She has published in both popular and academic journals on her work in these areas and is a regular contributor to Shareable.org.

Program Manager

SAKI BAILEY

Executive Director Rick Lewis has 28 years of experience in housing and economic development, specializing in the development and support of housing cooperatives. He has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He has over twenty years of experience as a carpenter and general contractor. He was a founding member of BACLT and served on the Board from 2006 to 2010. He has served on the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission and on the San Francisco Community Land Trust board, and lives in a housing co-op he helped form 32 years ago.

Executive Director

RICK LEWIS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OUR BOARD & STAFF:

33% RESIDENT GOVERNED

As a non-profit membership organization run by an elected Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director and staff members, our model adopts the classic tri-partite division, which ensures greater democratic involvement of regular people over a professionalized board.

 

As a result our board is roughly 1/3 residents of BACLT-owned properties, 1/3 local community members, and 1/3 experts in city administration, law and finance.

PRESIDENT & PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT EXPERT
BETH YOUHN
VICE PRESIDENT & FORMER  BERKELEY HOUSING DIRECTOR
STEPHEN BARTON
PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT EXPERT     
CHRIS BAILEY
RESIDENT
WALTER HARDZOG

STAFF

RESIDENT COMMUNITY
ORGANIZER
ELENA AURORA
COMMUNITY, SECRETARY
MARIE WHIDDEN
COMMUNITY, TREASURER
MARY LUCAS MCDONALD
RESIDENT
MARCIA CAINE EDELEN
RESIDENT
REGINA MOUTON
COMMUNITY PARTNER
MIKE JONES
LAW & POLICY EXPERT
SAKI BAILEY
= RESIDENT
= COMMUNITY PARTNER
= TECHNICAL EXPERT
Beth Youhn.jpg

Board President Beth Youhn is the former Executive Director of Tradeswomen Inc., a nonprofit that supports tradeswomen, and assists unions and employers to recruit and retain skilled tradeswomen.

 

Ms. Youhn worked as a heavy equipment operator with Operating Engineers Local 3 for 20 years, and later worked to promote construction careers for women and minorities at Laney Community College and the City and Port of Oakland.

 

She serves on the California Apprenticeship Council’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Women in Apprenticeship, is a founding board member of Tradeswomen Now and Tomorrow, a national policy coalition, and is a founding member of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department’s Standing Committee on Women in the Trades.

Board President (since 2006)

BETH YOUHN

Marie Whidden.jpg

Board Secretary Marie Whidden is a founding member of BACLT, and was elected to the board in 2012. She has served actively as a member of the Membership Committee and assisted with many of BACLT’s events. She has been active in the community for 40 years, sponsoring youth groups, directing improvisational theater groups and volunteering in the schools. She has been a massage therapist and teacher for 31 years. She is a long-time co-op supporter, was a member of the Berkeley Food Co-op, and lived in a co-op in the 1980s.

Board Secretary 

MARIE WHIDDEN

Chris Bailey is a founding BACLT member and was elected to the board in 2009. She was one of the early women members of the Carpenters Union in the 1970's and an officer in the Oakland chapter in the 1980's. In 1985, she went to Nicaragua with the Bay Area Construction Brigade to build houses on a coffee cooperative. Ms. Bailey worked for Alameda County as a Construction Project Manager, the San Francisco Housing Authority as a Construction Inspector and recently retired from twelve years as a Building Inspector and Plans Examiner with the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

Tech Expert (since 2009)

CHRIS BAILEY

Aja_Fasah.JPG

Aja Fasah was elected to the board in 2018. He is a resident and board member of the Oregon Park Senior Apartments, a resident controlled nonprofit.

Resident

AJA FASAH

Marcia Edelen_edited.jpg

Marcia Caine Edelen volunteered in the BACLT office, then joined their Board in 2014. She grew up and raised her family in West Berkeley. At the Consumers Co-op of Berkeley, she was an employee-member later elected to the CCB Board. Marcia also served on the Board of the West Berkeley Fund for Community Progress. In 2015, she and her daughter became resident/members of Brown Shingle Mutual Housing a resident-managed project of the BACLT.  She continues as an active “Resident Member” member of the BACLT Board.

Resident (since 2014)

MARCIA CAINE EDELEN

Regina Mouton was elected to the board in 2018. Regina Mouton, a San Francisco native, has received training as an artist, historian and educator. Regina was an activist in the formation of the Women's Building in San Francisco where she focused on issues around reproductive rights, led workshops and participated on the steering committee of annual International Women's Day celebrations.

 

She taught art history at Mills College and San Francisco State University, and curated the first public art program for the City of Oakland, and other Bay Area galleries, museums, and institutions. She led docent programs working with artists, teachers and organizations to provide access to exhibits, performances, and arts/work-training programs for thousands of K-12 students.

 

Regina has raised her son in shared housing for the past decade, is an avid gardener and writer, and currently works as an education specialist for secondary students of color with learning differences in Oakland public schools.

Resident (since 2018)

REGINA MOUTON

Elena Aurora is a healer and creative movement organizer. They are the Co-Founder of Roots of Labor Birth Collective & Woke n Wasteless. As a Queer, Latinx, mixed race person of Peru-Euro descent, Elena is skilled at understanding the delicate intersections of our society and its effects on housing. Some of their other organizing work includes: reducing consumerism and waste, the liberation of land and people from private interest, and reproductive justice. Follow them on Instagram @Woke_n_Wasteless or @RootsofLaborbc

Resident Community Organizer

ELENA AURORA

Steve Barton_Join Us.JPG

Board Vice-President Stephen Barton retired from the City of Berkeley after serving as Housing Director, Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Board and as a housing planner. He has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and is the author of numerous articles on housing policy and economics. He received an Affordable Housing Leadership award from the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California in 2006 and a National Planning Award from the American Planning Association in 1997.

Board Vice President (since 2012)

STEPHEN BARTON

Board Treasurer Mary Lucas McDonald is a founder of the BACLT Hibiscus Commons project, a model for affordable elder housing cooperatives, which will help seniors of all incomes to retire comfortably and affordably in community. Mary served on the steering committee for United in Action, the community organization that developed the 2020 Vision to close the achievement gap in Berkeley schools. She volunteered for Ashby Village which helps seniors live independently. Mary is an avid dragon boater and served on the boating club’s non-profit board of directors as the outreach director.

Board Treasurer

MARY LUCAS McDONALD

IMG_0026.jpg

Walter Hardzog was elected to the board in 2018. He is a carpentry craftsman and a resident at Brown Shingle Collective He serves as an alternate board member.

 Resident

WALTER HARDZOG

Mike Jones is a filmmaker and a Bay Area native. He is a deacon and trustee of the McGee Avenue Baptist Church, a partner of BACLT’s Stuart Street project in South Berkeley.

Community Partner

MIKE JONES

Saki Bailey.jpg

Saki Bailey has nine years of experience in research, teaching, and policy work in the cooperative management of fundamental resources. Saki received her J.D. from UC Hastings and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Legal Theory at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden where she is researching cooperative models as a solution to the intensified shortages of affordable housing affecting many dense metropolitan areas in the US and Europe. She has published in both popular and academic journals on her work in these areas and is a regular contributor to Shareable.org.

Program Manager

SAKI BAILEY

Rick Lewis.jpg

Executive Director Rick Lewis has 28 years of experience in housing and economic development, specializing in the development and support of housing cooperatives. He has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He has over twenty years of experience as a carpenter and general contractor. He was a founding member of BACLT and served on the Board from 2006 to 2010. He has served on the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission and on the San Francisco Community Land Trust board, and lives in a housing co-op he helped form 32 years ago.

Executive Director

RICK LEWIS

HRP_0658_edited.jpg

As BACLT's Program Manager, Miranda focuses on bringing new cooperative projects into the community land trust. She brings a commitment to housing and land justice grounded in community control. Most recently, she completed the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, where she spent a year immersed in local and regional public policy and housing issues. Previously, she worked in development at Community Works West, a restorative justice nonprofit in Oakland. Miranda holds a bachelor's degree in human biology and a master's degree in sociology from Stanford.

Program Manager

MIRANDA STROMINGER

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THE ISSUES

The challenges ...

REAL ESTATE INVESTORS TAKE PUBLICLY CREATED LAND VALUE FOR PRIVATE PROFIT

Control of land and housing in our current economic system is deeply unfair. The people of the Bay Area make it a desirable place to live by providing essential government services, by creating a diverse and creative culture, and by supporting industries that grow and employ more people.

 

Real estate investors charge admission in the form of higher rents and sales prices. Thus, rents in the Bay Area are 50% of the U.S. average, and most people cannot afford to buy.

 

Rising rents generate windfall profits for real estate investors, push long-time residents out of the community, destabilize our communities and increase homelessness. Investors charge higher prices based on the land value created by the public. The public should take land out of the for-profit market and ensure it will be used for public benefit.

The solutions ...

OWNERSHIP BY A COMMUNITY LAND TRUST TAKES LAND OUT OF THE FOR-PROFIT MARKET AND KEEPS HOUSING AFFORDABLE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.  

 

BACLT and its partner cooperatives are run democratically by their memberships; community and resident control are central to the land trust and co-op housing models.

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION IS IN DECLINE

 

People have less chance than ever to join together in making decisions that affect their daily lives. The 1% have made government more responsive to money than to voters. It’s not enough to just create affordable housing. We need to find ways for people to experience democracy in their daily lives.

PATHWAYS TO OWNERSHIP FOR ALL

 

Our democratic model of a Community Land Trust creates resident controlled housing affiliated with a community land trust that is jointly controlled by residents and community members.

CO-OPS GET OVERSIGHT, TRAINING, & SUPPORT

Residents acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to responsibly manage and improve their housing.

4.

Our proven 6-step model ...

1.

WE HELP YOU BUY IT, FIX IT, MAKE IT AFFORDABLE

We get local government subsidies, low-interest loans, down-payments from residients who can afford them, and sometimes below-market sales from community-minded owners.

WE ORGANIZE HOUSING CO-OPS

We help and train residents to take ownership and democratic control over the buildings in which they live.

3.

CO-OPS ELECT MEMBERS TO OUR BOARD

Partner cooperatives elect their own residents to the BACLT governing board alongside community board members, to help direct our community development.

5.

WE PARTNER WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS

We work with broader social justice movements to pressure government at all levels to raise taxes on the wealthy and put more resources into our communities, including through greater support for CLTs and affordable housing co-ops

6.

WE OWN THE LAND, SO YOU KEEP IT AFFORDABLE

Through the Community Land Trust Model, we ensure partner co-ops will remain permanently affordable to current and future residents.

2.

 
 

WHAT'S A CO-OP? 

A co-op or housing cooperative is a democratic, resident-controlled housing association that owns the buildings collectively — usually through an LLC (limited liability corporation) or an LEHC (limited equity housing cooperative).

 

The land beneath the buildings is owned by the CLT.

THE CO-OP ... 

  • can own different types of housing together, from single family homes to multi-unit buildings, and may utilize different types of ownership structures.

  • with the support of a CLT, is a particularly strong and financially sustainable model for creating permanently affordable housing that lasts for generations.

VIDEO RESOURCES:

  1. Overview of Housing Co-op Types

  2. Benefits of Living In A Co-op

  3. How Co-ops Work

  4. How to Ensure Full Participation

  5. What the Davis-Stirling Act means for Co-ops

  6. The Affordable Housing Crisis Pt I

  7. The Affordable Housing Crisis Pt 2

  8. Financing Housing Co-ops Pt 1

  9. Financing Housing Co-ops Pt 2

  10. Financing Housing Co-ops Pt 3

  11. Labor & Housing Co-ops Then & Now Pt 1

  12. Labor & Housing Co-ops Then & Now Pt 2

WHAT'S A CLT? 

 

THE CLT ...

  • Is a non-profit entity that buys properties to preserve and create permanent affordability.

  • Is a democratic membership organization, governed by a Board of Directors elected by the members made up of at least 1/3rd residents.

  • Owns the land while low-income residents own the buildings through a 99-land lease to the Co-op (see Co-ops). 

  • Residents can build equity in their homes, but equity is limited to a reasonable rate of return similar to a Certificate of Deposit (1-2%) and resale is restricted to those of low income.

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-based membership housing organization run by an elected Board.

 

The Board consists of residents in land trust-sponsored housing, the broader community, and technical experts to keep the CLT in good working order.