In the wake of the subprime lending fiasco, many policymakers are looking for better ways to provide homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households. The discussion has shifted from a short-term approach ("How do we moving people into homeownership?") to an approach that emphasizes sustainable homeownership ("How do we create successful homeowners?").
One model for sustainable homeownership that is receiving considerable attention is shared equity housing. A recent publication by the Center for Housing Policy describes the common characteristics:
- Owner-occupancy: Shared equity models fall somewhere in the middle of the rental/homeownership continuum of housing. However, people participating in these programs are clearly owners of the property.
- Affordability: Shared equity models use a variety of strategies, but all make the purchase of a home more affordable to owners.
- Sharing of equity/appreciation: Owners in shared equity models share a portion of the future value of the property with the entity that has made the home affordable. This money is typically recycled to maintain long-term affordability of the property and/or to serve another homeowner.
For more information about shared equity housing, check out out the following resources:
Shared Equity, Powerful Results - a series of publications put out by the Center for Housing Policy
A Path to Homeownership: Building a More Sustainable Strategy for Expanding Homeownership - a recent report from the Center for American Progress.