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Shared Equity Housing

An Asian family sits in the living room of their new home, bought through a shared equity housing modelShared equity housing models are a specific type of housing strategy that create permanently affordable homes, build wealth for families and create vibrant, inclusive and equitable communities. Some models of shared equity housing include: 
  • Community land trusts
  • Deed-restricted homes
  • Limited-equity housing cooperatives
  • Resident-owned manufactured housing communities
These models all ensure that families with modest incomes can access stable homeownership while also making sure that affordability remains in the community over time. This can be achieved when ownership is shared between a homeowner and a nonprofit representing the community, between a group of homeowners, or when an initial subsidy is shared from one family to the next over generations to keep it affordable over time. As a result, long-time residents can remain in their neighborhoods, affordable housing investments are stretched to serve more families, and communities remain stable and inclusive.
Shared Equity Homeownership
Shared equity housing models create permanently affordable homes, build wealth for families and create vibrant, inclusive and equitable communities. 

At NeighborWorks, we support nonprofit organizations by building their capacity to use shared equity models as a way to stabilize their communities and prevent displacement and gentrification while also providing long-term affordable housing. We provide grants, develop templates and tools for the field, offer training and provide evaluation services to measure the impact of shared equity housing models on the well-being of residents and in their surrounding communities.

Keeping homes permanently affordable & building wealth

Shared equity housing strategies ensure homes for families who may not otherwise be able to afford stable housing in their neighborhood of choice. This means that subsidies put in to a community remain in that community over time, allowing affordable housing to serve multiple families over generations. By sharing the risks and rewards of homeownership over time, SEH models also serve a pathway to traditional homeownership and wealth building for families who would normally have access to equity-building opportunities. 

Community land trusts: Creating housing opportunities for the common good
A new book takes a deep dive into community land trusts, an innovative way to let families build wealth while keeping housing affordable. Community land trusts are a model of shared equity housing that NeighborWorks America is exploring through a new initiative. 

Preventing displacement and gentrification

By ensuring that housing units stay affordable regardless of whether a family leaves the neighborhood, shared equity strategies help prevent displacement and ensure stable and diverse neighborhoods. Additionally, data from the recent foreclosure crisis shows that families in shared equity housing are better able to withstand foreclosure than those in the traditional homeownership scenario.

Opening pathways to homeownership
Marietta Rodriguez, NeighborWorks America's president and CEO, spoke this month at a conference for the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Extending a sense of community ownership

Securing homes through shared equity approaches can help ensure the community remains in control of the land in their neighborhood. Shared equity models often have a board or ownership structure that empowers community members and shared equity homeowners to make decisions about the future of their community and the land beneath it. 

Virtual Training Institute explores community land trusts
In Durham, North Carolina, a NeighborWorks organization plans to use accessory dwellings as a way to increase both affordable housing opportunities and income for homeowners living in community land trusts. The NeighborWorks Virtual Training Institute will allow participants to hear about projects like this and to learn about shared equity housing.