Yardi Launches Online Affordable Housing Application Tool

Yardi Systems Inc. continues to bring software innovation to the multi-family sector with the introduction of HOUSINGCafé, a Web-based tool designed to ease the application process in the affordable housing industry for both management and prospective residents.

Yardi Systems Inc. continues to bring software innovation to the multi-family sector with the introduction of HOUSINGCafé, a Web-based tool designed to ease the application process in the affordable housing industry for both management and prospective residents.

Yardi developed the product in conjunction with Concord Management Ltd., a multi-family property management firm focused on affordable housing communities.

“This is a first-of-its-kind product for the affordable housing industry,” Anant Yardi, president of Yardi, said in a prepared statement. “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.”

And it’s all done in a secure online environment. 

Those seeking residential accommodations can simply take to a laptop or tablet or any mobile device to complete an application, attach pertinent documentation and put their electronic John Hancock on requisite forms. The self-service tool also allows users to pay application fees online, and through the internet listing service, search for units advertised by providers of income-restricted apartments.

The affordable housing market appears ripe for HOUSINGCafé. The percentage of households with an annual income of $30,000 or less that used the Internet jumped from 28 percent in June 2000 to 62 percent in August 2011, according to a study produced by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

For companies providing rentals for low-income residents, HOUSINGCafé eases the processing of applications with the customization of workflows. And the software can be easily configured to centralize pertinent data tracked by local jurisdictions, housing providers, and private foundations. Concord has put the tool to the test. During the trial period, the management company recorded a 50 percent decline in the time required to complete an income certification. “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,” Ed Wood, president of Concord, said in a press release. 

Yardi debuted HOUSINGCafé May 21, at the Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference. As company literature describes it, the tool is “game-changing technology for the affordable housing industry.”