Supportive Housing Scattered-Site Leasing

 General Model Description
In a Supportive Housing Scattered-Site Leasing model the supportive housing units are leased by a non-profit organization and dispersed among multiple buildings or properties in a community which may include a range of housing types from condominiums, apartments, or single family homes. This model provides a great opportunity to integrate supportive housing units in the general community, while maximizing available housing stock to achieve a range of housing types and unit sizes.

Download this section of the toolkit for all of the answers to the questions below.

Population Considerations

  1. What are supportive housing populations?
  2. How is homelessness defined?
  3. How is a person with disability defined?
  4. What is Olmstead and how does it have impact on supportive housing populations? The Olmstead Decision states that “No qualified individual with a disability” should be left out of or denied benefits of services. Public entities are required to provide community-based services to people with disabilities instead of institutional care. Under Olmstead, housing is considered a service so that public systems that support institutional residential housing should now have a plan to direct resources that provide housing options integrated into the community. Community-based services are to be provided when it is the appropriate option, desired by the individual, and can be practically made available. Integrated settings under the ADA and Olmstead are described as “a setting that enables individuals with disabilities to interact with non-disabled persons to the fullest extent possible.” Integrated settings also: Are in mainstream society; Allow people to access activities that they want in the community when they want them Alternatively, it is important to understand the characteristics that define ‘segregated settings’: Congregate settings include residents that have most or all people with disabilities; Have activities that are highly structured where the person is limited in their ability to choose and manage their own daily activities; or Provide daytime activities that are primarily only for people with disabilities Scattered-site leasing arrangements can maximize physical integration into a community, where other tenants with or without disabilities live in a private market arrangement.
  5. How do project partners determine the demand for and market to specific supportive housing population needs in my community?
  6. What type of supports and services are needed for supportive housing populations to live independently in the community?



Ownership, Partnership, and Operations Key Considerations

  1. What are the benefits and challenges of locating supportive housing units through a Scattered-Site Leasing Model?
  2. What are the different housing types that can be created under a Supportive Housing Scattered-Site Leasing Model?
  3. What are the roles and responsibilities for key partners needed to successfully develop and operate a Supportive Housing Scattered-site Leasing Model?
  4. How can project partners ensure accountability to roles and responsibilities through the entire development timeline, including operations?
  5. Is there a ratio of general housing units to supportive housing units that could impact the marketability of the non-supportive housing units?
  6. What are best practices for property management for a Supportive Housing Scattered-Site Leasing Model?
  7. What is master leasing and what partners are needed to create it?
  8. What are the best strategies to coordinate Property Management and Supportive Services delivery to promote housing stability of supportive housing tenants?

    One of the hallmarks of supportive housing is the close coordination among all of the project partners, particularly property management and service partners. All partners must have a shared commitment to the success of each tenant and the development. Property managers must work closely with service providers to mediate any issues that may arise. While close collaboration is recommended, it is important to distinguish the role of the property manager from the service provision. Outlined below are suggested approaches for addressing common issues of coordination between partners. Maintaining Communication – Regularly scheduled forums or meetings for supportive service partner(s) and property management staff to discuss roles, coordination efforts, current issues, address gaps in services and operations is important. Maintaining Confidentiality – All partners need training in confidentiality to understand what they can and cannot share, depending on their role. Additionally, it is essential to discuss with tenants the role of property management and services and what will and won’t be shared. Lastly, partners must ensure that they have the appropriate documentation and releases of information from tenants that may be needed to effectively coordinate. Maintaining Focus on Housing Stability – Effective and coordinated Supportive Service partner(s) and property management strategies should be on focus on supporting housing stability. The goal of these coordinated approaches is to prevent evictions and other tenant behaviors that put housing at-risk, or undermine the health and safety of residents at the property. If tenants are facing evictions, a good strategy is to ensure that tenants facing eviction have access to necessary services and supportive. Understanding Each Partners Roles – Ideally, both services and property management staff will receive cross training to facilitate understanding of each other’s responsibilities. Partners can use forums for regular communication to educate each other regarding legal and funding obligations and other requirements, and to troubleshoot role-related issues that may arise. The “who does what” conversation should be an ongoing discussion as things arise, rather than a one-time interaction. In addition, it is equally important to explain and educate supportive housing tenants on the roles of each the property management and service provider(s) and who is responsible for what within the development. Creating and Implementing Policies and Processes Consistently – Unlike other developments where property management creates and implements policies and processes, when supportive housing units are integrated into a development; the service partner(s) can also add value towards the development of the policies and processes. For example, partners can work together to ensure that the screening process is accessible to supportive housing Developing a comprehensive, written eviction prevention policy that details how all partners work together to promote housing stability is important. If eviction occurs, it is beneficial to maintain all evidence of communication between service provider and property manager, including evidence of prevention efforts. Ensuring Accountability – As described earlier, a formal agreement, such as a MoU, should outline the guiding principles for all partners. However, each partner brings a distinct and separate perspective to the development. To ensure that partners are accountable to the goals and principles of the development, partners should: Identifying contact persons for all parties and establishing expectations for communication and responsiveness. Describing actions that will be taken if the parties do not fulfill their responsibilities. Provide prompt notification by property management staff to services staff of any unmet tenant service needs. Supportive services staff promptly notifies property management staff when they observe safety or maintenance concerns. Revisited and reviewed the MoU collectively to ensure accountability to roles, responsibilities and scope of services, and any project specific performance measurements.

Integration Strategies Key Considerations

  1. What does community integration look like in a Supportive Housing Scattered Site Leasing Model?
  2. What are the best practices for managing community opposition to supportive housing?
  3. How can development location and design impact community integration?

    The location of the development and the physical design and use of space within the property can significantly affect how neighbors interact with one another and the integration in the community. With this model, while the physical location and design may be set, creating access to community resources is equally important. Working with partners to create linkages among neighbors and in the community, despite any limitations with the property location or design, will be helpful in preventing isolation of supportive housing tenants. Listed below are a number of considerations that may apply. Factors to consider related to location of the property: Public safety, particularly for vulnerable residents who may have mobility or auditory impairments. Neighborhoods that have particular drug activity may also present challenges for people in recovery. Access to public transit, grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping, recreational activities, employment and volunteering opportunities, faith-based settings, public parks and libraries, and other community resources. Proximity and accessibility to supportive services in the community, such as physical and behavioral health care, food pantries, child care, and more. The needs of the target population may influence the location. As an example, if the development with be serving families, the location and quality of the local schools and child care options are important considerations. Also, if the development is targeting veterans it may be useful to be in close proximity to VA health care services and/or veteran serving community based organizations. The physical design of a property can also promote community integration. The scale, appearance, design, maintenance and quality of the building are consistent with the neighborhood and reflect or exceed local community standards. Understanding the needs of the target population can also impact the design of the development. The population may need more physically accessible units than the minimum requirements. Creating more accessibility within the individual units and throughout the development will also allow tenants to age in place. Using universal design/visitability/adaptable/accessible are various design standards that increase accessibility of the physical housing units and common areas. If the supportive housing target population is families experiencing homelessness in the community, use local homeless data sources and service partners to identify the right mix of unit/bedroom sizes. Including community space within the property can be a great resource to the broader community and can be utilized for tenant activities and services. For tenants, including seating, grilling options, games and activities promotes interaction, and can build shared ownership for the property. For tenants and the broader community, including a gardening area can promote interaction; teach gardening techniques and healthy eating. Including commercial space within a development creates the opportunity to attract commodities and/or services for the community and promote interaction among tenants and the community. Creating designated space for a Fitness/Wellness Center is not only a great resource for tenants, but also can be used to support the supportive housing Space utilization within the development can also encourage interaction and engagement among tenants. Placing a couple of chairs encourages conversation among neighbors in the common areas of the development, such as the entry area, the laundry room, mailbox area. Utilize common space to promote interaction: Delivery of supportive services, as an example - supportive housing tenants and case management staff can use the space for one-on-one meetings Classes and/or trainings for tenants – Property Management or Service Staff can coordinate training opportunities for all tenants, such classes on budgeting and financial planning, grocery shopping on a budget, health cooking, and more Rent out community space for community activities such as classes, trainings, or other events.





  1. How can the development implement a standard screening criteria and process across all units without creating barriers for supportive housing applicants?
  2. How can the project use preferences to target specific supportive housing populations?
  3. What are the best practices for navigating the application and understanding responsibilities of tenancy for persons with disabilities and/or language or literacy barriers?
  4. How do reasonable accommodation and modification practices contribute to community integration and how does it work?
  5. How do tenants living in a Supportive Housing Scattered Site Leasing model connect with community resources?
  6. How can Scattered Site Leasing Supportive Housing maximize tenant involvement in the property to promote integration?


Supportive Services Considerations

  1. What types of services and supports are available to supportive housing tenants?
  2. What are the considerations in working with one primary service provider versus multiple service providers?
    In most communities and most supportive housing partnerships, one service provider does not provide all services. This means supportive housing tenants may be working with multiple service providers/agencies to meet their needs. One strategy for the owner and property management is to work with a lead service provider that coordinates the various service partners. This strategy is very useful in a Scattered Site Leasing Model. A property owner could be providing housing to a supportive housing tenants and coordinating with a variety of supportive service partners. Identifying and coordinating with one lead service partner can reduce onus on the owner or property manager. However, this strategy may impact the supportive service budget and availability of resources for the coordination role. Additionally, supportive housing tenants may move into a new development and maintain an existing relationship with a service provider in the community that is different from the lead service provider. In this situation, even though the lead service partner may not provide services directly to the tenant they can play an important role working with property management to coordinate with the service provider or respond to crisis as needed.

  1. What is included in the supportive services budget and how are services funded?
  2. What are strategies to provide services on and off site?
  3. How can service provider partners work with supportive housing tenants and property management to prevent evictions and keep unit turnover low?
  4. What should an owner know about service delivery to supportive housing tenants?


Financing Considerations


  1. What capital resources are available to private landlords and property owners to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS) in a Supportive Housing Scattered-site Leasing Model?
    One of the primary benefits of a Scattered-site Supportive Housing Leasing Model is the opportunity for a provider to leverage existing scattered site housing units; creating the potential to save or reduce the upfront capital and development costs necessary to create supportive housing units. All housing units need to be renovated and maintained to decent, safe and sanitary condition. Developments financed with most federal, state and local funding resources or receiving rental assistance are expected to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS). The costs of the renovations in scattered-site units, if necessary, are generally the responsibility of the property owner rather than the provider that will lease the units. Financing from private financial institutions, “soft loans” and grants from government or philanthropic sources, or loans from community development financial institutions (CDFIs) can be accessed for renovation by the property owner. In some instances, non-traditional lenders like CDFIs or government funders may extend financing for renovations to the provider that leases the housing units. While rental income generated from market rate rents is sufficient to pay for both property operations and debt services or payments for the loans, supportive housing units generally house individuals and families with extremely low incomes; and with corresponding lower rent levels the revenue available to cover operating and debt service is lower. Supportive housing developments must rely heavily on government flexible resources to finance the capital development costs.  Some of these other government-funding sources (although limited in amounts available) include Federal Home Loan Bank – Affordable Housing Program, HOME, CDBG, State Housing Trust Fund, Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) and the Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs.
  1. How is the operating budget impacted when a development includes supportive housing units?
  2. What is rental assistance and how does it work?
  3. What are the available funding sources for rental assistance to create supportive housing?
  4. How can rental assistance be used to create supportive housing in a Scattered-Site Leasing model?



Menu Title