NeighborWorks America’s new report highlights benefits and outcomes of shared equity housing

Shared equity housing can serve as ‘stepping stone’ to traditional homeownership, prevent displacement and gentrification

Washington, D.C., Feb. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a time when many people are struggling to get into homes, a new report spotlights a solution for potential homeowners that they may not even know exists: shared equity housing. Shared equity housing uses a shared ownership structure that makes a home affordable to a family while also ensuring the home stays affordable for the community over time. The report, “Advancing the Promise of Shared Equity Housing Models,” highlights results from the first three years of NeighborWorks America’s Shared Equity Initiative and suggests that shared equity housing acts as a “stepping stone” toward traditional homeownership for residents who would otherwise remain renters while also helping to prevent displacement and gentrification.

Since 2019, NeighborWorks America’s Shared Equity Initiative has provided $3.8 million to 39 NeighborWorks network organizations to plan, launch or grow shared equity programs; designed and delivered new training courses; supported the evaluation of shared equity models; and provided capacity-building tools. As “Advancing the Promise of Shared Equity” shows, the 29 organizations from the first round of awards have completed or brought 465 new shared equity homes into the development pipeline. At the start of 2021, NeighborWorks America reported 3,087 shared equity homes across 22 NeighborWorks network organizations in 12 states. At the end of 2022, NeighborWorks America reported 4,822 shared equity homes across 33 NeighborWorks network organizations in 18 states.

“Shared equity housing models provide an incredible opportunity to create homeownership opportunities and community wealth. Instead of helping one household one time, these models are designed to create lasting affordability that can serve multiple households and build community assets long-term,” said Jenee Gaynor, director of Shared Equity Housing at NeighborWorks America. “The first three years of NeighborWorks America’s Shared Equity initiative produced great results, and we look forward to continuing this work to advance shared equity within the housing and community development field.”

While market-rate homes provide more immediate opportunities for buyers to build wealth, homeownership is out of reach for many. The evaluation processes NeighborWorks America conducted suggest that shared equity ownership can act as a “stepping stone” toward traditional homeownership. For example, in one community that surveyed residents who had sold their community land trust homes (the City of Lakes Community Land Trust in Minneapolis, Minnesota), 70% had been able to use their appreciated equity as a bridge to obtain market-rate homeownership.

Additionally, residents consulted during NeighborWorks America’s evaluation processes shared that their quality of life improved since becoming shared equity homeowners. For example, 86% of Champlain Housing Trust’s (Burlington, Vermont) community land trust homeowners reported an overall sense of well-being since living in a shared equity home and 85% had a feeling of financial security with the ability to predict their housing costs and save for the future.

Homeowners in other communities also reported:

  • An increased connection to their neighbors and more social connections.
  • Improved health as a result of housing and infrastructure upgrades in resident-owned communities of manufactured homes such as improved drinking water sources.
  • Improved sense of overall safety.

NeighborWorks America prioritizes equity and inclusion, and its shared equity work focuses on creating outcomes that further racial equity. Grantees like NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley in East Providence, Rhode Island; United Housing in Memphis, Tennessee; and Asian Americans for Equality in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City have incorporated shared equity housing to help stabilize communities of color that face rising property values and potential displacement.

The NeighborWorks Shared Equity Initiative is made possible due to a series of targeted Congressional appropriations for shared equity housing starting in fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2023. The white paper analyzes the $3 million funded by initial appropriations in 2019-2020.

Learn more about NeighborWorks America’s shared equity work. Read more about the grantees featured in “Advancing the Promises of Shared Equity”: “Shared equity creates new possibilities, report shows,” and “Implementing shared equity: ideas for community developers.”  

About NeighborWorks America 
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools, and access to training as the nation's leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. 


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