Smart Growth

A growing number of communities are embracing principles of Smart Growth which combat suburban sprawl by creating more livable compact communities with greater transit options.  One key to smart growth is the creation of more mixed-income communities. But mixed income communities are difficult to maintain.  Because smart growth advocates often worry that success in bringing higher income residents back to central locations will result in displacement of long time lower income residents, shared equity homeownership has become a common feature of smart growth initiatives.

Shared equity homeownership

  • allows people to live in the same communities where they work, reducing commuting and urban sprawl
  • creates permanently affordable communities for working families, encouraging civic participation by giving more people a stake, and a voice, in decision-making.
  • helps rebuild low-income communities and allows working families to move into communities from which they have been excluded
  • maintains mixed income communities instead of displacing low-income residents due to gentrification

Learn More

  • Preserving Affordability as a Smart Growth Strategy
  • This presentation was developed for a Smart Growth America webinar.  It discusses how preservation of affordable homeownership opportunities is both necessary and possible in Smart Growth and Transit Oriented Development strategies and provides a basic overview of some methods of incorporating long term affordability into these efforts.

  • Affordable Housing and Smart Growth
  • This 2001 publication of the Smart Growth Network and the National Neighborhood Coalition outlines a range of strategies for integrating affordable housing into smart growth efforts including a section on community land trusts and a profile of the Portland Community Land Trust in Oregon. From a smart growth perspective, CLTs provide an important means for […]