PROJECTShared Equity Research

Shared equity, or long-term affordability, is an innovative model that nonprofit housing associations or municipalities offer, making homes more affordable to qualified households. This includes 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 can provide affordable rental and commercial spaces as well.

Shared equity homeownership programs provide buyers 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.

Impact and Implementation Evaluation of Shared Equity Homeownership Programs

The Urban Institute published the sector’s first impact evaluation of the effects of shared equity programs on homebuyers, and also a companion implementation study. The research evaluated nine shared equity programs made up of 683 people who applied to the programs between June 2012 and June 2014. The evaluation of outcomes for buyers found that shared equity programs successfully linked low- and moderate-income people with affordable owner-occupied housing.

Performance Evaluation of the Household Benefits of Shared Equity Homeownership

The Urban Institute's evaluation of seven shared equity homeownership programs found that the programs were 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. Publications include a journal article, cross-site report, and site-by-site case studies.

Project Researchers

Brett Theodos, senior fellow
Christina Plerhoples Stacy, senior research associate
Rob Pitingolo, research associate
Breno Braga, senior research associate

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Wealth and financial well-being