Shared home ownership helps people with disability, researchers find

April 7, 2017, University of New South Wales
Shared home ownership helps people with disability, researchers find
Credit: shutterstock

New research by UNSW's Social Policy Research Centre has found that shared home ownership schemes for people with disability bring potential benefits but also expose people to debt risks.

Research conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has found that shared schemes for people with disability bring potential benefits but also expose people to debt risks.

The research, commissioned by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), has been published in a new report, 'Shared home ownership by people with disability'.

The report investigated the most appropriate and beneficial shared home ownership models for people with disability.

Shared ownership covers housing models where ownership of a dwelling is divided between a person who lives in the house and an equity partner, such as a government department or community housing provider. It enables people on lower incomes to access and sustain home ownership and can enhance housing choice, security of tenure and sense of ownership.

The report highlights four shared ownership models – shared shared equity, restricted-resale shared equity, individual mixed equity and group mixed equity – that are most suitable for people with different income, asset levels and repayment abilities. It also suggests a range of government policy interventions if shared ownership for people with disability is to be scaled-up.

Report co-author Dr Ilan Wiesel, formerly from the SPRC and now with the University of Melbourne, said: "A shared ownership scheme for people with disability may help reduce the overall cost to government of providing housing assistance to those eligible for NDIS support. It could benefit governments by both reducing the demand for other forms of housing assistance and by participating consumers investing capital and taking on management and maintenance costs of their property."

However, shared ownership schemes can expose low-income households to risks such as becoming trapped with insufficient equity to move elsewhere (e.g. to follow employment and educational opportunities) if there are large changes in house prices.

There may also be risks associated with contractual obligations to both lenders and equity partners, such as having to pay for repairs required by the equity partner or not being able to rent the property to others if necessary. Some shared ownership schemes also require the householder to pay rent to the partner for the partner's share of the property.

The SPRC's Professor Karen Fisher said: "Shared ownership can work very well for some people in some areas, but be ineffective for others who will continue to require other forms of housing assistance such as social .

"Independent advocacy and financial planning for the people and families involved are critical for the success of shared ownership, as people with disability may be encouraged or even pressured to invest significant personal or family assets in such schemes, which may not be their optimal financial investment."

Explore further: A problem shared

More information: Shared home ownership by people with disability, AHURI Final Report No. 277, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne. DOI: 10.18408/ahuri-7104001

Related Stories

A problem shared

June 20, 2012

A study into the effectiveness of shared ownership schemes, which help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder, has found that mobility out of the sector is not as good as hoped.

Falling home ownership to hit older people hard

May 31, 2016

A future in which older people are homeless or living in cars and garages lies ahead if nothing is done to avert the rapid decline in home ownership, says a Massey University expert in healthy ageing.

Stock ownership US Congress influenced voting on bailout

March 29, 2010

( -- Personal investments in the stock of financial institutions by members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Unites States was positively associated with these institutions receiving bailout ...

Recommended for you

Galactic center visualization delivers star power

March 21, 2019

Want to take a trip to the center of the Milky Way? Check out a new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization. This 360-movie offers an unparalleled opportunity to look around the center of the galaxy, from the vantage ...

Ultra-sharp images make old stars look absolutely marvelous

March 21, 2019

Using high-resolution adaptive optics imaging from the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The remarkably sharp image looks back into the early history of ...

When more women make decisions, the environment wins

March 21, 2019

When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more—particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.