Shared Equity Research

Shared Equity Homeownership is an innovative homeownership model that nonprofit housing associations or municipalities offer, making homes more affordable for first-time buyers, buyers with bad loan or credit history, or buyers lacking the necessary down payment or income to afford a market-rate home. Shared equity programs provide homebuyers with a way of bridging the gap between what they are able to afford to pay in a mortgage and the actual mortgage cost to own a property. Shared equity is a broad designation that includes inclusionary zoning, limited equity cooperatives, and community land trust homes with long-term affordability restrictions.

The Urban Institute has been at the forefront in shared equity research, evaluating the effects of programs on homebuyers' financial and personal well-being. Our reports to inform policymakers in the field of housing finance. 

Impact and Implementation Evaluation of Shared Equity Homeownership Programs

The Urban Institute leads the field with the first impact evaluation, published in March 2017, of the effects of shared equity on homebuyers. “Affordable Homeownership: An Evaluation of Shared Equity Programs” evaluated nine shared equity programs made up of 683 people who applied to the programs between June 2012 and June 2014. The evaluation of housing outcomes for buyers under the Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Partnership (CHIP) program found that shared equity programs linked low- and moderate-income people with affordable owner-occupied housing.

The study follows the baseline report  “Homeownership for a New Era: Baseline Report on the Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program” which was released in April 2015. This baseline report describes the CHIP programs’ homeownership models, information on program applicants, strategies used to recruit homebuyers, and implications for policy and practice.

Performance Evaluation of the Household Benefits of Shared Equity Homeownership

The Urban Institute's 2010 evaluation of seven shared equity homeownership programs across the country found that shared equity programs are successful in creating homeownership opportunities for lower-income families that allow purchasers to accumulate assets while creating a stock of affordable housing that remains within reach of subsequent lower-income homebuyers. Moreover, homeownership among shared equity programs is sustainable, and shared equity homeowners resell their homes with the same frequency and for the same reasons as other homeowners.

The following publications include reports and site-by-site case studies that present outcomes for the seven evaluated shared equity programs using client-level data to look at affordability preservation, wealth creation, security of tenure, and mobility.


Balancing Affordability and Opportunity: Homeownership Programs with Long-Term Affordability Controls

Project Researchers

Brett Theodos, senior research associate
Christina Plerhoples Stacy, senior research associate
Dina Emam, research associate
Rob Pitingolo, research associate
Sierra Latham, research associate
Rebecca Daniels, research associate
Breno Braga, research associate