Cutting Costs

By on Sep 6, 2017 in News

Submitting an application for affordable housing is a daunting challenge. Tax returns, paycheck stubs and bank statements are just the beginning of what applicants must provide to qualify for a unit.Markets_AH

Proof of eligibility for housing assistance is a must since public funds often support rents below market rate. Federal, state and local housing agencies have policies and procedures in place that ensure affordable housing resources only serve qualified residents.

In the past, affordable housing providers kept files with thick stacks of paper as proof of each resident’s eligibility status. Providers also keep similar files for denied applicants to document why a household was determined ineligible for housing assistance.

Affordable housing providers are taking a modern approach to minimize paperwork and staff hours necessary to qualify residents. With online applications, providers are not saving administrative costs, but also better documenting their resident files and boosting compliance with fair housing regulations.

Rather than handing applicants a stack of forms to fill out, housing specialists can now direct applicants to an online portal to submit everything needed to qualify for a unit. RENTCafé Affordable Housing from Yardi makes this possible, and it’s becoming more and more common throughout the industry.

Just how big is the RENTCafé Affordable Housing trend? More than 100,000 housing applications have been created online since the product launched in 2016. That’s more than 6,000 per month, and the numbers are growing every day.

“Affordable housing applications have evolved from cumbersome, paper-based hassles into easy, online workflows. Applicants can submit documentation from their home computer or mobile device. That freedom saves applicants from taking time off work to come into the office for a lengthy in-person interview,” said Dave Kessler, vice president of affordable housing and PHA at Yardi.

“If you consider it takes a housing specialist an hour or two to conduct an interview and key in the data gathered, then multiply that by more than 100,000 applications created in RENTCafé Affordable Housing over the past year and a half, you see just how significant this product is for the affordable housing industry,” said Kessler.

Self-service applications reduce the need for property managers to set aside office hours for interviewing applicants. “One of our goals for RENTCafé is to give onsite property managers more time to serve their current residents. Shortening, and in some cases eliminating, intake interviews helps us achieve that goal for our clients,” said Kessler.

Visit yardi.com/RENTCafeAH to learn more about RENTCafé Affordable Housing.