Shared equity, student-debt mortgage among proposals to solve homeownership crisis

A report proposes policy reforms that would make homeownership and mortgages more affordable

Shared equity, student-debt mortgage among proposals to solve homeownership crisis
Making mortgages more affordable through shared equity products and the creation of student-debt mortgages are just some of the policy reforms proposed in a new study that aims to help combat the numerous hurdles limiting homeownership.

The new report, Rebuilding the American Dream: Strategies to Sustainably Increase Homeownership, was released by Rosen Consulting Group and the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics.

"Homeownership in the United States today is in a crisis. It is our goal to create a roadmap that encourages the public and private sectors to come together to implement solutions," said Ken Rosen, chairman of Rosen Consulting Group and the Fisher Center. "These are innovative and common-sense reforms that can be implemented locally or nationally, and will promote homeownership across the country.”

Through shared equity products, a household can purchase a home by dividing the equity stake among multiple parties, effectively lowering housing costs. The report listed a variety of approaches, including nonprofit models, private companies that partner with homebuyers, and co-buying arrangements among family members or non-related housemates.

A student-debt mortgage would allow homebuyers to consolidate outstanding student debt into their mortgage when purchasing a home and lower their monthly payments. According to the report, this would result in the borrower having one payment that is lower than the two individual payments.

The report includes proposals for more than 25 reforms to improve homeownership. Other proposals include a statewide approach to override local zoning and encourage more housing supply; the promotion of modular construction to reduce construction costs and increase new home supply; a down-payment savings program through a tax-deferred account; and a nationwide targeted counseling program for homeowners who previously experienced foreclosure to combat post-foreclosure stress disorder.

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