In addition to providing housing that meets the needs of individuals and families with low-to-moderate incomes, affordable housing developments can be used as a community revitalization tool, especially when units are built on scattered sites throughout the community.
Though concentrated developments are efficient from a property management and service provider standpoint, there are significant benefits to both residents and communities when to using a scattered site model. These include:
- Homes blend into the existing neighborhood – When building on scattered sites, developers can construct homes that blend with the character of the neighborhood. This provides some measure of privacy for residents of the development by creating housing that is inconspicuous and not noticeable as part of a “project.”
- Deconcentrates poverty – Rather than congregating people with similar demographic characteristics, use of a scattered site model integrates them into the broader neighborhood and promotes for more stable, vibrant communities.
- Benefits residents of the development – When residents of affordable housing developments have opportunities to live throughout a given neighborhood, they have more chances to become an engaged member of their community. Other residents of the community benefit from the exposure to a diversity of experiences as well; although exposure doesn’t guarantee tolerance, it does tend to lead to greater understanding and acceptance of social differences.
Elizabeth Ireland is CHN’s former Grant and Program Analyst.