How PHAs Simplify and Save

By on Jan 17, 2020 in News, Technology

Public housing agencies are among the busiest organizations in the residential property management industry. There’s a lot going on.

Most PHAs have thousands of names on their waiting lists. As names come up for consideration, staff faces hours of detailed work to ensure that that applicants qualify for housing assistance. Once applicants become residents, PHAs and the private landlords participating in their programs are responsible for all the normal property management duties associated with multifamily housing.

To top it all off, PHAs are required to continuously report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as other state and local government offices, for compliance purposes.

Luckily, there’s an app for PHAs that streamlines each of these workflows. RentCafe PHA is a unique solution available only to Yardi clients. By modernizing the way PHAs work with stakeholders, most every stakeholder group benefits. Here’s how.

Prospects: RentCafe PHA simplifies how an agency can open its waiting list for new names. The typical frenzy of activity that happens when an agency accepts new names is mitigated since people can join a waiting list online, and without having to turn in a stack of paperwork.

RentCafe PHA even offers automated solutions for agencies to periodically purge their waiting list without the need to mail thousands of notices and enter data returned in the mail. Instead, waitlisted households receive an electronic notice that it’s time to confirm their waiting list status. They can simply go online to quickly save their spot on the waiting list or opt out of consideration for assistance.

Applicants: Nearly 800 housing applications were created in RentCafe PHA every day in 2019. And contrary to traditional methods of applying for housing, applications in RentCafe PHA are paperless. That’s nearly 300,000 stacks of paper potentially saved in 2019 alone.

Another break from tradition is that applicants can work on their submissions when it fits their schedule. There’s no need to set an appointment during PHA office hours. In 2019, 42% of applications were completed after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m. The convenience of 24/7 access from any connected device saves applicants from visiting the PHA during office hours, a bonus for both applicants and PHA staff.

Landlords: Most any rental unit in town can be part of a public housing agency program if the landlord accepts PHA vouchers to supplement rent paid by the resident. Private landlords who decide to participate require access to forms to report back to the PHA on activities such as rent collected, maintenance work completed, move-outs, etc. With RentCafe PHA, landlords can do this work from their private computers or handheld devices. There’s no need to mail or fax paperwork to the agency, which saves a lot of time and money.

Residents: Modern multifamily housing providers offer residents the ability to go online to pay rent, make repair requests, schedule inspections and more. PHAs are no different. Households that qualify for housing with RentCafe PHA continue to use the solution once they move into a unit. It’s simply a matter of adding resident functions to their already existing RentCafe PHA profile.

Compliance staff: Every resident and participant in a PHA housing program must qualify for assistance. There’s a lot of work involved, and a lot of personal data that must be collected, submitted and verified. RentCafe PHA makes compliance easier and faster by connecting PHA staff with applicants and residents. Households can securely submit their data online, as well as images of backup documentation, directly to PHA compliance workers. Insecure and inefficient methods such as photocopying legal documents and storing private personal information in file cabinets are taken out of the process. Staff can even use RentCafe PHA to securely communicate with applicant employers, schools and former landlords to verify the accuracy of submitted information.

Learn more about RentCafe PHA by downloading Five Steps to Revolutionize PHA Applications & Compliance Workflows, a free ebook from Yardi.