Why Scattered Site Housing?
We often get asked why we have chosen to invest in scattered site houses and small multi-unit complexes. Here’s why:
Homes First chooses to invest in scattered site housing for several reasons. Of most importance to us is the knowledge that when a household lives in their own permanent home, regardless of whether it is owned or rented, they become a part of our community, rather than apart FROM our community.
Another significant factor for our investment in scattered site housing is the lasting economic advantage. The average cost to public funds to provide permanent rental homes is less than $300 per person for the life of the property. Compared to the cost of shelters, food banks, emergency services and to the health of our community as a whole, it is a worthwhile investment.
When our community considers the availability of buildable land and the cost of new construction, it become quite obvious that using already existing homes to provide housing rather than building new is not only economical, but sustainable. In the same three to five year period it costs to develop a new 50-unit apartment complex for 75 people, Homes First can acquire and provide homes to the same number of people while helping them reconnect with their community.
The 2006 Housing and Child Wellbeing Study by Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities shows that children in low-income families benefit significantly from moving out of socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. In addition, when households are ‘anonymized’ in their community, not stigmatized by being singled out as low-income, they are more likely to thrive and to develop long term healthy relationships.