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Home » Town Services » Housing » Co-op Home Ownership Program


In order to increase its affordable housing stock, the Town of Farmington began a program in 1981 known as the Plan for Cooperative Ownership. To make the purchase of single-family homes more affordable to home-buyers of low and moderate income, the Town of Farmington enters into a partnership with the individual in which the Town would own the land and the individual would own the home on the land. This partnership would enable the individual to pay a mortgage only on the home (not the land) making it much more affordable. Individuals whom are selected for the program are responsible for their own financing and have the responsibility of choosing a realtor to help find an existing home in Farmington.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria is weighted toward those either working or living presently in Town, and towards lower incomes with the balanced ability to afford a mortgage. Factors such as income and assets, family size, employment, residency, and housing hardship factors are used to determine eligibility. To qualify, an applicant must have a gross annual income at or below the median family income for the Hartford area as determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The table below represents the maximum allowable income by family size.

Family Size Median Income
1 $44,750
2 $51,150
3 $57,550
4 $63,900
5 $69,050
6 $74,150
7 $79,250
8 $84,350

The Land Lease

The most significant aspect of the Cooperative Ownership Program is the land lease. Once the participant executes a land lease with the Town of Farmington, owners of the parcel, the participant, as lessee, rents or leases the land from the Town for the term of the lease (typically 99 years).

Resale Restrictions

The resale restrictions limit the maximum sales price the house may sell for in the future by placing a cap of 25% of the appreciation of the house as determined by property appraisals. This restriction serves to ensure the "affordability" of the house for many years to come. When the lessee decides to move, he can sell his house, but not the land. Accordingly, the land can be offered as rental property once more to those of low and moderate incomes. The resale restriction is as follows:

  1. The total amount of appreciation in the value of the house during the period of the lease is calculated by taking the appraised value for the house at the time the lessee notifies the Lessor of his desire to sell minus the original purchase price of the house.
  2. The Lessee's share of the appreciation is equal to the appreciation (determined in #1 above multiplied by 25%).
  3. The new maximum sales price is determined by adding Lessee's share of appreciation (determined in #2 above) to Lessee's original purchase price of the house.

Land Lease Fees

Each participant is responsible to pay a $10.00 per year land lease fee for the first three years. In the fourth year of the lease, the land lease fee is equal to the sum which could be collectable by the Town if the land were taxed under private ownership.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Who is responsible for financing?
A. The individual is responsible for their own financing. In the past individuals have worked with the Farmington Savings Bank.
Q. Who owns the land that the house is built on?
A. The Town of Farmington owns the land and the participant rents or leases the land from the Town of Farmington for the terms of the lease.
Q. What is the land lease fee?
A. Each participant would be responsible to pay a $10.00 fee per year for the first three years. In the fourth year of the lease, the land lease fee shall be equal to the sum that would be collected by the Town, if the land were taxed.
Q. In what price range should I look for a home?
A. Based on the program income guidelines, most individuals need to qualify for a mortgage between $95,000-$185,000.
Q. How much does the Housing Authority usually pay for the land?
A. In the past few years, the Housing Authority has paid between $50,000 and $65,000 for land.
Q. Is the program limited to first time homebuyers?
A. No.
Q. What other obligations do I have as a homeowner under this program?
A. Each homeowner must carry minimum property and liability insurance in the sum of $600,000.


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