Shared Equity Affordable Homeownership

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Because the cost of owning a home is out of the reach of some people, the government and nonprofit organizations have stepped in to help. Shared equity homeownership enables long-term, affordable homeownership opportunities by providing a subsidy to lower the purchase price of a housing unit and imposing restrictions on the resale of these subsidized housing units, preserving affordability for subsequent homebuyers, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Shared equity homeownership is a general approach to assisting homebuyers that can be implemented through various legal or organizational structures. It provides a safer and more sustainable approach to affordable homeownership than sub-prime financing.

There are examples of shared equity affordable ownership all over the country. In California, the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County (HLT), a private, non profit corporation established in 2002, provides home ownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income families in Sonoma County while ensuring permanent housing affordability. HLT has created 45 homes and is working on 20 more. It has served 55 families to date with 10 re-sales. Other examples of shared equity homeownership in California are an existing project in Aliso Viejo and a developing project in San Diego.

RSG is currently working to help a client get local approval for and implement such a project. For more information on shared equity in general, see the National Housing Institute, Homes That Last, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or contact us if you would like to see affordable homeownership opportunities in your community!

Written by Hitta Mosesman, a Principal at RSG