In the spring of 2018, Landed first started serving educators in Colorado –our first state outside of California –through a partnership with Denver Public Schools. Eventually, Colorado became a template for even further expansion into new regions: Portland, Hawaii, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Boston. We’re both humbled and excited to be approaching our 500th homebuyer nationwide, with over 100 right here in the Denver and Boulder metro areas in Colorado.
With a couple of years of work here under our belts, we’re now able to share some data demonstrating Landed’s shared-equity down payment program is having an impact on educators, students and the Denver area community as a whole. The findings included here are a part of this recent impact report we published on our blog.
Impact on Educators
Educators and staff who have worked with Landed in Colorado have bought over $27 million worth of homes, amassing $1.1 million in wealth through homeownership. Given that the average Landed educator has only been a homeowner for a year, this represents approximately $17K of wealth gained per year per customer – the equivalent of receiving a $23K salary increase. Although salary increases remain the single best way to improve the economic outlook for our educators, the yes-and approach of ensuring educators have a pathway to homeownership is part of the solution.
In addition to the financial gains that homeownership has unlocked for our customers, many Landed homebuyers speak to the stability becoming a homeowner has made possible. Hannah Emmons works in employee services for Denver Public Schools, helping teachers and staff get their questions answered about their pay or benefits. It was actually in doing her role that Hannah first discovered Landed: “A DPS employee called in asking about housing assistance, and I looked it up and saw we had something about Landed on our site. I was really interested, but didn’t know that I was qualified.”
As an employee of DPS, Hannah was qualified. She had spent two years already looking for a home she could buy for her and her son, but hadn’t been able to find anything within her price range. “I moved a lot, and moving is expensive. I felt like I was throwing money down the drain. It was hard to pay that much and deal with different landlords.
“I’ve lived in places where I didn’t feel safe, where I didn’t have the peace of mind and space to raise my son. It’s hard, if you’re a lower-income single parent. I’ve faced housing discrimination, I’ve had landlords tell me they don’t rent to people with children. That was very discouraging.” For Hannah, it became a necessity to be a homeowner and take ownership of her life and living situation.
Within a few weeks of her first call with Landed, Hannah had gotten her offer accepted on a home. Between the additional support of a homebuying team set up by Landed, and the extra financial support, Hannah was able to get into what she says feels like her dream home.
“I felt really taken care of,” Hannah said, “I have experts; I have a team that has my back. That made a huge difference. I put a lot of trust into the team, and now I own a home. Without Landed, it would have taken me another decade to get to a point where I could even buy a condo.”
Impact on Students
Educators who buy homes with Landed are expected to leave education at a meaningfully lower rate than their peers, saving up to $22,000 per home purchase in turnover costs for an employer and mitigating the negative impact turnover has on student achievement.
In Colorado, the districts in which Landed operates average a 20% turnover rate. According to Landed’s post-home-purchase surveys, educators supported by our down payment program plan to remain educators for an additional 13 years, resulting in an expected annual turnover rate of 7.7%. That’s a 12.3% drop in turnover rates as a result of working with Landed. When asked how long they would have stayed if they hadn’t been able to buy a home, respondents answered 3.5 years on average.
Within the urban geographies where Landed operates, public school students are almost 75% non-white. In these geographies, over 50% of public school students qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch. Improving the quality of education these students receive is foundational to improving both racial equity and income mobility in the United States.
Impact on Community
One of the founding principles of Landed’s down payment program is the idea of helping to level the playing field for those without access to the proverbial ‘bank of mom and dad’ to be able to overcome the hurdle of saving for a down payment on a home. It’s encouraging to see data on our program indicates we’re making strides toward democratizing who can access homeownership, which is crucial to racial equity and thriving, safe communities.
When comparing Landed’s customers to the average homebuying population in the Denver area, our down payment program is making gains toward closing the homeownership race gap. In Denver, 5% of Landed homebuyers are Black while 3% of all homeowners are Black in the area.
Landed’s homebuyers in Colorado span thirteen different employers, both K-12 districts and higher education institutions. In 2020, Landed has been expanding our ability to serve the employees of public colleges and universities, along with private non-profit universities. So far this year, Landed has launched partnerships with the University of Colorado system, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Denver.
Reflecting on the impact we’ve had so far is motivation for our work ahead, and our continued commitment to ensuring more essential professionals in the Denver area – and nationwide – can access homeownership. Please check out our website to see how we might work with an educator you know to put down roots in your community.