Scattered Site Rental Toolkit:

Business Planning for Development & Management









III.A. Understanding How Market and Neighborhood Characteristics Drive Design

In this section we will discuss the timing, location and scale of your potential Scattered Site Rental (SSR) development and management program. These issues will be driven by a number of factors including your agencyís mission, the tenants that you desire to serve, the type of units that you plan to develop, the kinds and amounts of financing available and your organizationís overall capacity and efficiency. Related to all of these other factors, but perhaps of greater consequence than any of them as a means of determining a rational project location, timing and scale are the characteristics of the local housing market and the neighborhoods in which you work.

We can begin with a discussion of timing. The current economic climate across the country has created an increased interest in SSR as an activity for a number of reasons. Among them are the following:

      Financing, developing and moving units for sale is difficult in many markets.

      Credit is tight, secure jobs are scarce, homes are becoming foreclosed upon and interest in the rental market is growing.

      Neighborhoods are becoming ravaged by foreclosure and there is a need for something to be done to stabilize the growing number of vacant units and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

      Agencies are struggling to make ends meet and to keep current staff fully occupied.

For these reasons and others like them, a number of agencies are turning to SSR as a potential activity. They may be the reason that you are reading this toolkit. Three of the four reasons above are market driven and that market largely determines whether this is a logical activity for your organization. While we can make generalizations like the ones above, each regional market and neighborhood is different and must be analyzed on its own merits.

Other timing considerations involve your organizationís capacity, the availability of funding, and the political will of various stakeholders.These should also be analyzed as you think about whether this is the right time for you to undertake an SSR program.

Next: III.B. Neighborhood Selection