In the Blended Management model, property managers at Southwest Housing work closely with the tenants and specialists at Southwest Counseling to engage support services and set goals to help tenants remain in their apartments. This model is unique and inventive. It is one of the reasons that Southwest Counseling won the 2009 award for Excellence in Innovation, presented by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.
Blended Management is a promising practice Southwest Housing created to help consumers in Southwest Housing remain successful tenants over time. A ‘win-win’ approach to supported housing, this practice also serves to ensure the physical and financial integrity of the property.
Southwest Housing incorporates blended management principles in its partnership with all 50 landlords that provide housing to consumers. Blended management begins with dialog and negotiation between consumers, landlords, and Supported Housing staff.
The negotiation results in an MOU about mutual goals, roles and responsibilities for all three parties, with emphasis on steps to prevent eviction. The process enables landlords and tenants/consumers to establish mutual goals together, and later helps them communicate better when a crisis threatens and eviction is looming.
Lisa Todd, a property manager with Southwest Housing, says, “The work that has been done to build up rapport and relationship with landlords means there is now a loyal and resilient landlord base. Landlords find it a lot easier to rent to folks where services are part of the tenancy.”
Detroit apartment owner Joe Early is landlord for about 40 consumer/tenants. “Southwest Housing follows up with their clients,” Joe explains. “At least once a week I see them out there making sure the units are clean and that the tenants are taking care of themselves. The key is that they are actually out there with the tenants.”