Santa Barbara, Calif.—Yardi today announced the launch of HOUSINGCafé™, a new, Web-based application tool for the affordable housing industry. The primary purpose of HOUSINGCafé is to act as an online portal for applicants and residents to submit income and other verification documentation to determine eligibility for various rent- and income-restricted housing programs.
Anant Yardi, president of Yardi, announced HOUSINGCafé today at the Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference in Washington, D.C. “This is a first-of-its-kind product for the affordable housing industry. HOUSINGCafé benefits both affordable housing providers and their clients by making the process of submitting an application for housing faster and easier, and without a lengthy appointment in an office. Now, all of this documentation can be submitted online through HOUSINGCafé when it is convenient for everyone,” Mr. Yardi said.
Concord Management, based in Maitland, Fla., collaborated with Yardi and has been instrumental in guiding development of the product. During their testing of HOUSINGCafé, Concord has experienced a 50% drop in the time required to complete an income certification. “This represents a huge time savings,” said Concord President Ed Wood. “And the savings are even greater when you consider the process can be done by the applicant on their own without the involvement of our onsite staff.”
Today’s announcement highlighted several features of HOUSINGCafé, including the ability for users to sign forms electronically and upload supporting documentation into the system rather than submitting copies of paper records. Mark Livanec, vice president of Affordable Housing and Sales for Yardi, also described the ability to customize workflows in HOUSINGCafé. “HOUSINGCafé is incredibly configurable so that all of the data tracked by local jurisdictions, housing providers, and private foundations can be set up as part of the online application tool,” said Livanec. “The result is more accurate data for affordable housing providers and a much easier application process for their clients.”
HOUSINGCafé also serves as an Internet Listing Service for affordable housing providers to advertise online available housing units. Users can conduct searches for affordable housing units with HOUSINGCafé based on criteria such as ZIP Code, monthly rent, number of bedrooms, and unit size.