Wanting to become a homeowner? There are other ways!

In several countries mortgage rates are attractive, home prices are easing and employment is improving, but still too many people cannot afford to buy a home.


Therefore more and more people are looking for alternative approaches to home ownership, like 'leasing-to-own' or 'shared equity'. An example of 'shared equity homeownership' is when a municipality owns the land and builds the houses, while the homeowners own the structure but not the land.


For instance in India, Israel and Tanzania the concept of individual or state ownership of land has (encouraged by the State!) been replaced by community ownership and control. In these cases the community leases land (for instance for farming) to families or individuals. These individuals or families own the house, and any improvements made to the house and land, but not the land itself. In this way private initiative is encouraged and productivity and morale remain high. Reversion of ownership to a (few) landowner(s) is permanently prevented.


In more and more countries around the world we see a variation to this approach gain momentum, often referred to as the community land trust. Both the community land trust movement and the environmental movement share the notion of trusteeship of land, rather than the traditional concept of ownership. While the environmental land trust movement is aimed at protection of the land only, the community land trust movement is aimed at increasing the productivity of the land by reducing speculation, and providing access to land and housing for individuals and families who otherwise would not be able to afford it. Owning your home


The Summer Foundation feels that there are certain things that should not be 'owned', for instance land and capital. It is in no one's interest that land is owned; well, apart from the people who own (and sell it). But in the end it is us – the consumer – who pays the price. Because how do you think the farmer will pay for the mortgage of the land? Indeed, you do, when you pay for your milk or bread!


Therefore since 2011 we have been adding initiatives of organizations to our database that show that there are alternatives to ownership, like:


Do you know another organization or initiative, let us know: info@summer-foundation.org.


More about our ideas on ownership, can be read here: Ownership.


Elske van der Horst

October 2015


Sources: Schumacher Center for a New Economics, MainStreet, CNBC

Image: Arkansas Realtors and Ktsimage | iStock | Getty Images

Elske  |  2015 10 19  |  Permalink  |  Share


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