Scattered Site Rental Toolkit:

Business Planning for Development & Management

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II.A. Aligning Program Design with Vision and Mission

The first and primary consideration in planning a Scatter Site Rental (SSR) development and management program should be to ensure that it will be consistent with your vision and mission. This might seem obvious, but we often see inconsistencies between an organization’s mission and how a program is designed and managed. Following are four mission statements from organizations engaged in SSR development and management—three that are NeighborWorks America Affiliates:

·      “The mission of St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center is to create and maintain equal housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people, primarily in Baltimore City and to encourage and support strong and diverse neighborhoods.” St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

 

·      (Our) “Goal is to help transform people, families and communities, so that they achieve the skills, strategies, resources and commitment to succeed for the long-term.” Beyond Housing, St. Louis, Missouri

·      “Building vibrant communities” Columbus Housing Partnership, Columbus, Ohio.

 

·      “Our mission is to develop affordable housing for low- and moderate-income Clevelanders with a special emphasis on generating pathways out of poverty and providing homeownership opportunities.” Cleveland Housing Networks, Cleveland, Ohio (not a NWA Affiliate).

SSR Development could certainly be consistent with each of the above mission statements. However, each of the above statements evokes somewhat different considerations. The first mission statement, from Cleveland Housing Networks, would suggest that their SSR program should have economic components and someone developing a program with this type of mission might give consideration to ensuring that low income residents have access to jobs created through this activity, or that consideration is given to the proximity of available housing to public transportation opportunities. Notice also the special emphasis on homeownership. This would imply that their SSR program should present opportunities for homeownership. For example they may want to assist tenants in setting up and maintaining an Individual Development Account (IDA) for a future down payment or consider a lease-purchase program.

The second mission statement from St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center raises equality as a part of their core mission. An agency with this focus may want to consider the impact of their SSR program on the integration of neighborhoods along racial and economic lines. This mission also promotes strong neighborhoods. An organization with this value would likely wish to consider the impact of their SSR program on the community as a whole and how they can use this program to strengthen and stabilize neighborhoods.  Click here to see St. Ambrose’s SSR program design in detail.

Beyond Housing talks about transforming communities as well, but they also discuss the transformation of people and families. An organization with this focus may want to consider services such as providing child care for residents that wish to return to school, or providing youth after-school programs, or offering drug and alcohol abuse counseling as supporting services to their SSR program.

Columbus Housing Partnership focuses on the vibrancy of their communities. An agency with this motto would want to ensure that consideration is given to the quality of the houses that they develop, along with an emphasis on strong management and maintenance, though the term “vibrant” can also refer to some of the other neighborhood and household characteristics that we discussed earlier.

So begin by reviewing your vision and mission statements, or develop these statements if you do not have them and then look for ways to match your SSR program design to the broader mission of the organization.

Next: II.B. Goals Should Drive Design