Shared Equity Homeownership as an Affordable, Sustainable Choice

Micro-housing evokes images of smaller apartments within a larger building, whereas tiny house village evokes images of miniature little homes clustered on a common plot of land—again, it’s a physical alteration. But there is also a social dimension to these concepts—the fact that several people are living so close together.

Isolated renters will always be at the mercy of the speculative landlord, but if we were to allow neighbors to organize democratically, spreading costs and risks more broadly amongst a group rather than on the shoulders of each individual, that is where we might begin to find truly accessible and sustainable housing…

Shared equity homeownership offers a viable alternative to the two common choices of traditional ownership and renting…

“At their core, shared equity models are defined as follows: resale-restricted, owner-occupied housing where the “bundle” of property rights is divided between the homeowner and the community. The subdivision of building and land rights allows households to access affordable ownership opportunities and enables the community—via a non-profit steward—to retain a stake in the land, maintaining permanent affordability and mitigating speculative market forces.” (Ehlenz)

Smaller isn’t necessarily cheaper, but if we link it with more innovative ownership models—this is how we can begin to make housing more affordable.

From Andrew Heben’s Tent City Urbanism. Read the full article here: http://www.tentcityurbanism.com/2015/04/affordable-housing-smaller-isnt.html

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Elaine Walker