Great news! CHT received a $500,000 grant from NeighborWorks America to support our signature shared equity homeownership program. The grant, just one of two made nationwide, will extend affordable homeownership opportunity to 40 households and keep those homes affordable for subsequent buyers over time. This program was recognized with a United Nations World Habitat Award for its ingenuity and sustainability, and was recently featured in TIME Magazine. Some of the program’s many benefits can be found here.
“Owning a home and building equity in it is one of the primary ways families build wealth,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Champlain Housing Trust’s innovative shared equity program helps young families, BIPOC households and many other Vermonters become homeowners and build that equity. This is especially important for those who have historically been excluded from home ownership. In setting priorities on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am proud to work closely with CHT and NeighborWorks America to replicate this Vermont program nationwide, and I am pleased that new federal funding for this initiative will help 40 Vermont households access homeownership and create 40 affordable homes for Vermont families well into the future.”
CHT is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, and will use the grant to support down payment assistance, leveraging both private and public resources to create permanently affordable homeownership. CHT’s shared equity program now numbers almost 650 homes and is the largest of its kind in the country.
“This program is effective in that it not only provides an affordable option for the initial family to purchase a home, but it allows CHT to serve multiple households over time by recycling the investment,” explained Michael Monte, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “We are so grateful to NeighborWorks America for this grant, and to Senator Leahy for his leadership to ensure that this model of permanently affordable homeownership can grow.”
Since 2019, NeighborWorks America’s Shared Equity Initiative has helped nonprofit organizations use shared equity models to stabilize their communities, prevent displacement and gentrification, and provide long-term affordable housing. NeighborWorks America provides grants, develops tools for the field, offers training and provides evaluation services to measure the impact of shared equity housing models on the well-being of residents and in their surrounding communities. The Initiative has provided more than $2.6 million in capacity building, technical assistance and production grants to 35 NeighborWorks organizations since its inception.
“Investing in shared equity strategies protects affordable housing for residents and communities long-term,” said Shanti Abedin, director of shared equity housing at NeighborWorks America. “Shared equity housing also empowers residents to have a greater ability to build wealth and makes them far less susceptible to foreclosure and other forces of displacement. NeighborWorks network organizations are increasingly investing in shared equity strategies to keep homes in their communities affordable for generations.”
In addition to being member of the NeighborWorks network, CHT is also a member of the Grounded Solutions Network, which supports and promotes shared equity homeownership programs nationwide. CHT’s program also recently was awarded a major grant from the New England Federal Credit Union to advance homeownership for BIPOC households.