California Community Builders (CCB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affordable housing development organization that spun-off of The Greenlining Institute.
CCB’s mission is to reduce the homeownership gap as a means of closing the wealth gap for communities of color. CCB also aims to understand the impediments to policies that support building homeownership and work-force housing opportunities for low-income communities. In 2006, CCB undertook a pilot project in Firebaugh, California, called San Joaquin Villas in the Central Valley, an area that was described as “the Western Appalachia” by The Economist.
CCB also formed The Two Hundred, a statewide coalition of community leaders, opinion makers and minority advocates, to mitigate the growing wealth gap through homeownership and home building in California. Prior to The Two Hundred, there has been no cohesive statewide voice to advocate for low and moderate income communities of color for homeownership.
The wealth gap divide, exacerbated by California’s housing crisis, was created, in part, by the catastrophic economic impact of the Great Recession, when millions of Americans, especially households of color, lost what little equity they owned. The Two Hundred also advocates for millennials who, due to the shortage of affordable housing, the high cost of land, the mentality of developers and State policies that favor multi-family rentals are stuck with large student debt, ever increasing rents, and locked out of the same wealth-building legacy opportunity that created wealth for white, middle class families.
This past year, The Two Hundred hosted a series of statewide, well-attended mini-conferences in Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, the Inland Empire, San Diego and Oxnard. Each conference outreached to community leaders, housing advocates, legislators, and re-introduced homeownership as a policy issue. This, in addition to the first community based legislative hearing on housing this past May, raised the profile of The Two Hundred to policy makers in Sacramento.
The Two Hundred leadership brings a unique combination of experience that include: grassroots organizing, intricate knowledge of the levers of power and how to engage them; policy advocacy; proven ability to work with diverse populations; experience with the inner workings of bureaucracy and institutions and the respect that comes with a lifetime commitment to social justice.