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Equity-share system designed to help educators become homeowners

High housing prices can make it difficult for schools to retain good educators. There are programs that are trying to solve that problem. (iStock) (iStock)

Teachers in areas with high housing costs can be shut out of the opportunity to become homeowners in neighborhoods near where they work, which can make it difficult for school districts to retain experienced educators. The District has a special home-buyer assistance program for government employees, including teachers in traditional public schools and public charter schools, called the Employer Assisted Housing Program, and the national Teacher Next Door program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development also provides financial aid to teachers in the form of grants and low-interest loans.

Another option, available in Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles — and expected to expand to Austin, Boston and Honolulu in 2019 — is an “equity-share” program supported by Landed, a California-based real estate brokerage. The organization plans to expand into other markets in the next few years, potentially including the Washington area.

Homeowners in D.C. area actually have the most money left over after paying their mortgages

Landed’s mission is to help educators, including K-12, college and university teachers and staff members, buy homes in expensive markets. Landed offers educators down-payment funds in exchange for part of the appreciation gain when the home is sold. The down payment support program meets the standards set by Fannie Mae so that educators will have access to conventional loan programs.

Landed’s program requires home buyers to provide at least a 10 percent down payment while Landed provides the other 10 percent. In exchange, Landed will keep 25 percent of the property’s appreciation when the house is sold. If the property declines in value, Landed will share 25 percent of the loss.. Buyers can provide more than 10 percent of the down payment if they wish, with Landed sharing 2.5 percent of the eventual appreciation (or loss) for every 1 percent of their contribution.

In addition to down payment assistance, Landed provides educators and school staff members with financial-wellness consultations and home-buyer education. For more information, visit

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Landed would keep 25 percent of the initial down payment if the home declined in value, Landed will share 25 percent of the loss.