Trends in Shared Equity Housing
Trends in Shared Equity Housing is a comprehensive working paper commissioned by The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) on the housing models, their history, and financing and technical assistance needs by researchers from The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. The publication looks at deed restrictions, limited equity cooperatives (LEC), resident-owned communities (ROC) and community land trusts (CLT), technical assistance, policies and finance.
What is Shared Equity Housing?
Shared equity homes (SEH) are properties structured with appreciation controls to ensure that homeownership opportunities provide minor wealth-building gains while permanently remaining within reach of low-income families.
Shared equity housing achieve these outcomes through three definitive features:
1. Owner-occupancy of residential property.
2. Resale restrictions limit the owners’ gain in value appreciation upon resale while ensuring subsidies are enjoyed between successive generations of lowincome homeowners.
3. Rights, responsibilities and benefits of the property are shared between homeowners and a third party, typically a non-profit (or local government via deed restrictions), that acts as a steward and representative of the larger community through a democratically elected board.
While there has been a lot of interest in SEH by policy-makers and funders in the last 20 years, the lack of growth of SEH in most of the country is a function of the lack of enabling ecosystems. In short, scaling up SEH requires: a supportive policy environment, technical assistance providers, and the availability of finance. In most of the country one or more of these components of the ecosystem are inadequate or completely absent.
The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) is a national nonprofit with a mission to promote and develop cooperatives to improve economic well-being for all. It is an affiliate of the cooperative apex organization National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). CDF commissioned this landscape scan on the state of “Shared Equity Housing” (SEH) to assist its thinking and programming as it moves forward with its support for affordable housing, and to provide a resource for those looking for options to address the affordable housing crisis the USA faces.