Tackling the Challenge of Scattered-Site Rentals

Last fall, the Federal Housing Finance Agency sought comments on how Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Fair Housing Administration can divest themselves of their massive inventory of real-estate-owned properties. Among the ideas gaining traction is selling homes for rental rather than owner-occupancy, as in the GSEs’ recently rolled out REO to rental pilot project. A big REO auction could give community groups a shot at developing much-needed affordable rental housing, but they will face stiff competition from for-profit investors. If nonprofits are able to pick up properties, they’ll have another major challenge: managing scattered-site rental. While many nonprofit organizations now manage multi-family buildings, having single-family homes spread over a wide area is much more difficult, logistically.



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