Currently, 1 in 4 eligible renters receive a housing choice voucher (rental subsidy). However, having a voucher doesn’t guarantee affordable housing.
The goal of Kazmyn’s project, Seeking 1610, is to improve access to affordable housing for low-income renters. This project will focus on renters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kazmyn identified barriers many face in the search for affordable housing in Indianapolis, and noticed gaps between what renters need and the straightforward information and tools available to them. The main objective is to decrease the amount of time spent searching for, applying to, and being approved for affordable housing.
Currently, many states and municipalities have underutilized websites that list affordable housing by city. These lists generally do not include up-to-date information, do not explicitly share tenant selection criteria, and do not allow for easy application to units. They are also cumbersome to use and oftentimes difficult to access.
Seeking 1610 will be sensitive to the barriers that many low-income renters face accessing housing.
- criminal history,
- prior evictions,
- the need for a rental to accommodate a large family,
- and possession of a housing choice voucher.
Currently, 1 in 4 eligible renters receive a housing choice voucher (rental subsidy). However, having a voucher doesn’t guarantee affordable housing. This is because it takes so much time to find a landlord willing to accept it. When you live in poverty, you are forced to spend most of your time on meeting basic needs. Many eligible renters do not have the time, resources, or knowledge of government systems to obtain affordable housing as needed.
The target audience for Seeking 1610 are those who struggle with accessing affordable housing. Not all low-income renters live in affordable housing. As a result, they are housing cost-burdened and more vulnerable to emergencies that could leave them without enough money to cover their rent.
Seeking 1610 will assist all renters in need of affordable housing. Landlords who own affordable housing are another target audience for Seeking 1610. Landlords will be able to advertise their vacancies and connect with eager renters in need.
For Social Cohesion in Neighborhoods
The true community impact of Seeking 1610 will be an increase in social capital and cohesion in neighborhoods. When individuals and families can put down roots in an area, they become stewards of their communities. They may volunteer formally, assist their neighbors informally, and vote for representative leadership. Many people are unable to participate fully in our democracy because they are focused on meeting basic needs like housing. Seeking 1610 aims to address this need so that we have more voices speaking truth to power.
For more information, visit Seeking 1610’s website.
Updated January 2022.