Scattered Site Rental Toolkit:

Business Planning for Development & Management










A. Why This Toolkit at This Time? 

Most housing nonprofits have avoided Scattered Site Rental (SSR) development and management because it is fraught with complexity and risk and because homeownership development was preferable way to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods. However, our reality has changed. Organizations and their funders are considering SSR for a number of reasons:

1.   Household Economics

•     Household incomes have been decreasing.

•     People are out of work and consumer credit is weak.

•     Mortgage lending terms have tightened, prohibiting would-be buyers from getting loans.

•     Capable buyers are wary of buying a home or trading up.

•     Increased foreclosures.

•     Moderate-income households seek affordable, quality single-family rentals. 

2.   Neighborhood Economics

•     Homeownership development is at a standstill: demand is low and mortgages hard to secure.

•     Neighborhoods have high inventories of vacant and foreclosed properties:  These properties can have a blighting influence, compete with other homes on the market, and threaten to undermine the previous investments an organization has made over time in the neighborhood.

•     Acquisition opportunities abound with the increase in vacant and foreclosed properties, and housing nonprofits may want to get control of properties lest they fall into the hands of slum landlords.

•     Stabilizing neighborhoods may require SSR. Organizations may have to add SSR to their organization’s products and services to address the dramatic changes the recession has visited upon households and neighborhoods.


3.   CDC Organizational Economics

•     Need to maintain a pipeline of development despite a stagnant homeownership market.

•     Need to cultivate new sources of revenue to ensure organizational sustainability.

In light of these new realities, CDCs are asking themselves:

•       Should we add SSR to our core products and services?

•       How do we stabilize neighborhoods and families through SSR?

•       How do we convince our board, neighborhood, local government and funders to invest in SSR?


Next:  I.B. Purpose of the Toolkit: Business Planning for SSR