Preserve Ownership Housing Options

Dec 2015

The goals of homeownership preservation policies are similar to those of rental preservation policies. Both policies aim to provide communities with a full range of housing choices. Preserving ownership options helps to maintain property values and stabilize neighborhoods. In addition, the existing housing stock is typically the most affordable housing stock in a community. Affordable housing options are critical for those wanting to purchase a home instead of renting one. Ensuring that the homes are maintained is critical in providing safe and quality housing stock for new and growing families.

Why is homeownership preservation important?

Preserving homeownership is critical to retaining members of the community which is critical to ensuring stability. Strong local city housing codes that are tied to resources for home improvement is a carrot and stick approach that is successful in many cities. The stick is the strong housing codes that mandate what kinds of improvements are acceptable. The carrot is the resources which help to defray the costs imposed by compliance with the housing codes. Transition from renting to owning in the housing market is a challenge that must be addressed by experts.

As we know, a diverse mix of housing options contributes to a safe, strong, and economically viable community. Having enough ownership units so that renters can make the transition allows those already living in the area to purchase a home and remain in the community. It also opens up the possibility of new owners moving in from other areas. Initial affordability of owner occupied units allows families to become homeowners without spending an unreasonable amount of their income on housing. Typically a household should not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. It is important to allow households to have enough income to pay for the other expenses of life. In addition, it is important that some income is saved for unexpected situations such as loss of employment and medical issues.

What policies are useful when it comes to preserving the housing stock?

Maintaining a full range of housing choices is not solved strictly by making funds available for construction of new units or maintenance of existing units. It also includes local provisions thatĀ support long term affordability such as community land trusts. These local policies help to ensure a mix of housing options available to a broad range of residents.

What local preservation programs exist?

Transformation HomesĀ is a Richfield HRA loan program to encourage large-scale renovations with the goal of neighborhood preservation.

Shoreview’s Project S.H.I.N.E. proactively engages property owners in its code enforcement efforts to maintain housing quality.

Home Ownership, Housing Counts Policy Toolbox, Housing Policy, Preservation
Who is it for?
Policy Makers

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