HousingLink created the Housing Hub in April of 2012. It started as a place to watch affordable rental housing educational videos, and had resources for renters, social service agencies, and landlords. However, we have exciting plans for Housing Hub moving forward.
In short, the Housing Hub of the future will centralize the Project Based Section 8 waiting lists.
The process of searching for Project Based Section 8 subsidized housing is time consuming and expensive for both renters and landlords. The waiting lists for these units is often 12-48 months in length, and there is not an easy way for renters to know where they are at on the list. Each time a low-income renter has an address change, they must notify each property where they are on the waiting list.
When properties contact renters, they often reach out to the top 10 on the waiting list in the hope of hearing back from 3 or 4. This inefficient system keeps those who most need subsidized units from getting timely access.
Project Based Section 8 housing units are the most affordable housing opportunities in our community, and they are owned and manage by individual companies. There are over 700 project-based properties in the Twin Cities Metro Area. However, each property operates its own separate waiting list. Trying to find hundreds of individual properties stops renters from even trying to get into the very housing they need.
What is the solution? How will Housing Hub fix this problem?
Through Housing Hub, HousingLink will develop an online tool that allows properties to be part of one website. Renters can create a profile and then add their name to waiting lists where they qualify, all in one place! Renters can also see where they are on the list at any time. This will also allow renters to update their contact information in one place, making it a more efficient and effective tool for properties to use to fill vacancies in their housing.
Housing Hub will bring knowledge and power into the hand of the renter, and allows them an easy way to search and find new housing options they may not otherwise access. The properties will save time by no longer having to manage the waiting list, and when openings come available, they will get filled much faster!
We will keep you posted as the Housing Hub evolves!