Shared Equity Housing: Cultural Understanding and the Meaning of Ownership

25 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2011 Last revised: 4 Oct 2011

See all articles by Michael Diamond

Michael Diamond

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: 2011


In this paper I examine whether shared equity limitations that are sometimes applied to subsidized affordable housing creates for the owners of such housing a second class ownership status. I conclude that they do not. In support of this conclusion, I look at the meaning of property from both cultural and historical perspectives. I argue that property and ownership are culturally constructed concepts that are understood differently in different cultures and in the same culture over time. I examine the series of limitations that have been placed on property in industrial societies and argue that the limitation on equity is just another in a long list of limitations that society has imposed on ownership in favor of a supervening social good, in this case, the preservation of affordable housing for future generations of low-income homeowners.

Keywords: Property, Affordable housing, Low-income homeowners, Subsidized housing, Shared equity

JEL Classification: K11, K19

Suggested Citation

Diamond, Michael R., Shared Equity Housing: Cultural Understanding and the Meaning of Ownership (2011). Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-22; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-122. Available at SSRN:

Michael R. Diamond (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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