Shared Equity and Homebuyer Assistance Programs

These programs help borrowers find everything from assistance for down payment and closing costs to permanently sustainable affordable housing.

Identifying Shared Equity Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency provides general guidance for identifying shared equity programs in its Enterprise Duty to Serve Rule. Learn more about them here.

Other Shared Equity Programs

Are you working with a program that preserves affordable homeownership, but doesn't fall under one of the shared equity categories listed here? Contact your relationship manager to help us better understand the program.


Related Links

Shared Equity Overview

Shared equity programs preserve affordable homeownership opportunities by allowing borrowers to purchase homes at below market prices. In exchange, borrowers agree to sell the property only to other income-qualified buyers and/or share the home’s appreciation with the organization that subsidized the purchase.

Fannie Mae purchases or securitizes several types of shared equity mortgages, bolstering homeownership opportunities for eligible borrowers and supporting your affordable lending commitment.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

In a CLT, a low- to moderate-income borrower will purchase a home on land that they will lease from a municipality or non-profit at affordable ground rent rates. The ground lease will typically require that when the home is resold, it can only be purchased by a low- to moderate-income family.

See Fannie Mae Selling Guide section B5-5.1-04, Community Land Trusts, for more information.

Inclusionary Housing

Inclusionary housing initiatives are governmental programs that encourage creating affordable housing when communities are under development. These programs and policies can require or provide incentives for developers to create affordable housing units in developments. They can also include impact or linkage fees that generate revenue to help address the high cost of housing.1 These municipal or county housing policies typically require properties to be sold only to low- to moderate-income borrowers.

Limited Equity Cooperative

In a limited equity cooperative, residents own shares in a cooperative housing corporation which they can resell at prices that ensure continued affordability and allow for modest equity growth.

Homes in these communities may be eligible for Fannie Mae financing via the Project Eligibility Review Service (PERS). See Fannie Mae Selling Guide section B4-2.2-06, Project Eligibility Review Service (PERS), for eligibility requirements.

Other Homebuyer Assistance Programs

Community Seconds

A Community Second is a subordinate obligation that can assist borrowers with a down payment and/or closing costs. Funds can come from a wide variety of sources and may include shared appreciation features.

HFAs and Public Entities

In addition to housing counseling and other services, housing finance agencies (HFAs) can also provide down payment and closing cost assistance. Learn more about HFAs and our HFA Preferred™.

Down Payment Assistance

Fannie Mae permits borrowers to obtain down payment and closing cost assistance from a number of eligible third-party sources. Learn more below:

  • Personal gifts (Fannie Mae Selling Guide section B3-4.3-04, Personal Gifts)
  • Donations and grants (Fannie Mae Selling Guide section B3-4.3-06, Donations from Entities).
  • Employer-provided assistance (Fannie Mae Selling Guide section B3-4.3-08, Employer Assistance).

To find down payment assistance programs based on traits like location and household income, among others, visit

* is a third party resources not affiliated or endorsed by Fannie Mae.