Planning for System-wide Landlord Engagement

Erica Snyder

Erica Snyder Consulting, LLC

Beginning in August 2022, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) engaged with Erica Snyder Consulting to conduct a community assessment to identify current system-wide landlord engagement practices and to facilitate a community-engaged planning process . The goals of this effort were two-fold: increase access to available rental units and develop a strategy for targeted landlord recruitment and retention. The assessment and planning process involved meeting with homeless services housing providers and partners currently engaging with landlords to determine strengths and areas for growth in the existing system. Initial findings were presented at a community meeting led by the CoC Landlord Engagement Workgroup.

In December 2022, CoC partners came together for two half-day sessions to discuss creating a CoC-wide vision for a landlord engagement system. The following agencies participated:

  • Ada Jenkins Center
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte
  • City of Charlotte
  • Community Link
  • Freedom Fighting Ministries
  • Hearts for Invisible Charlotte
  • Housing Collaborative
  • CoC Lived Experience Committee
  • Mecklenburg County Community Support Services
  • Roof Above
  • Safe Alliance
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Relatives
  • United Way
  • CoC Youth Action Board
  • Veterans Administration

This blog provides an overview of the community assessment and planning process and outlines recommendations for improved system-wide landlord engagement.


The community visioning sessions began with a brief overview of the landlord engagement system assessment. This included working definitions for a landlord engagement system and an overview of the potential roles and responsibilities of the system’s dedicated landlord engagement team and CoC service providers in the housing process.

Successful Landlord Engagement System Functions include:

  • System-Level Engagement to avoid duplication of landlord engagement efforts, eliminate competition between providers for limited resources, and provide clear messaging to community partners and landlords.
  • A Dedicated Organization and team focused on landlord recruitment and retention for the system coordinating the community’s strategy and engagement with the ability to make adjustments in response to the rental market and landlord needs.
  • Recruitment & Retention of Landlords by providing targeted incentives & benefits, hosting events for landlords, and funding for the system.


Visioning session participants worked in small groups to create a shared vision of a future state centralized landlord engagement system that could be realized in 12-24 months.

Common themes of desired future state for Landlord Engagement in Charlotte-Mecklenburg included:


Given the consensus amongst participants on the vision for a centralized landlord engagement system, the next discussion centered around identifying a potential landlord engagement system model that would work for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. All groups agreed that they wanted the CoC to have a team of individuals solely dedicated to landlord retention and recruitment and who worked closely with case management staff to generate leads for people searching for housing.


Based upon the CoC’s desired direction for a centralized landlord engagement system, attendees participated in a small group role clarity exercise to determine the interactions between and expectations of various roles needed for a landlord engagement system that could streamline the housing search process. For example, groups discussed the desired interaction between the Landlord Engagement Entity (LEE) and landlords; and between the LEE and tenants, etc.

Each group agreed that the LEE should focus on building relationships with landlords and developing housing leads. The LEE should share housing leads with case managers and housing navigators. Case managers and housing navigators in turn would work directly with tenants to apply to rental units that met their needs.

Shifting the responsibility of increasing available housing rental leads from individual case managers to the LEE team better supports the homeless service system. Housing Navigators would work directly with clients to apply for rental units and case managers would focus on supporting the tenant throughout the process and providing ongoing housing stability case management. In this envisioned future state, the LEE would serve as the relationship manager for the landlord and would go to this team for questions about the system, information to guide lease-up, and mediation needs. Clients would communicate directly with their case manager/housing navigator to identify housing options and have no interaction with the LEE.


The group proposed the following performance metrics to measure progress and determine if having a dedicated landlord engagement team would be correlated with an increase in access to available rentals for people receiving housing assistance:

  • Length of time from program enrollment to lease signing
  • Number of people housed
  • Number of new LEE partner landlords
  • Number of existing LEE partner landlords
  • Number of rentals/units available through LEE partner landlords
  • Number of rentals/units through LEE partner landlords by zip code
  • Number of leases renewed by partner landlords


To realize the CoC’s vision for centralized landlord engagement, Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte convened to discuss ways to align resources and contract scopes to allow for the CoC-wide access to the existing landlord engagement system and common metrics to assess performance and progress.

The CoC’s Centralized Landlord Engagement System is a work in progress, but existing community alignment has created a strong foundation for a new system.

You can review a complete summary of the landlord engagement community assessment, planning process, and recommendations here.

Erica Snyder is a results-driven strategist with the ability toidentify the big picture and create building blocks to achieve the vision. Her broad experience spans the public and nonprofitsectors, including local, state, and federal governments, national networks of nonprofits, and philanthropy, focusing on efforts related to housing and homelessness.  Erica has her Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.