We’ve all seen the news stories. A Public Housing Agency (PHA) opens its wait list for subsidized housing for the first time in years and demand in the community is so great, it becomes a chaotic situation. The paper-based application process used by many PHAs historically can be inefficient and unnecessarily stressful for both potential tenants and public housing authorities. To overcome these efficiency challenges, many agencies have implemented and benefitted from PHA software for online application management.
Since some wait lists only open once every few years, the application process must be handled accurately. Opening a wait list online can make the process of applying more efficient for both applicants and your PHA. Here are eight major advantages to adopting PHA software for online application management.
1. Eliminate long wait lines and security.
By conducting the wait list application process with web-based software, agencies can save everyone from the hassle of long lines. Doing this would also let agencies save money by eliminating the need to hire security guards for crowd control and extra staff to assist with wait list openings.
2. Applicants can apply on their own time.
Allowing applicants to apply online anytime, not just when the office is open, creates a positive experience for the potential tenant from the very first interaction with the PHA. Applying online can also make the process of how to manage a waiting list easier for PHAs.
3. Save staff time by cutting down on data entry.
Paper applications are inefficient for both applicants and the agencies to which they’re applying. By moving the application process online, agencies can dramatically reduce the amount of time staff members take to digitally record application data.
4. Decrease calls and visits to the office.
By taking the application process out of the physical office and onto the web, agencies are able to provide better, more detailed information to applicants prior to the opening, eliminating phone calls and visits to the office asking about the process.
5. Ability to apply on any Internet-enabled device.
Through online application technology, applicants will be able to submit their application and view their status on any device (including a smartphone) that can access the Internet. This can provide applicants with much needed flexibility.
6. Applicants can translate application into 90+ languages.
Provide greater accessibility to applicants and also meet Executive Order 13166, requiring PHAs to take affirmative steps to communicate with people in a language other than English, without having to hire a translator.
7. Reduce staff follow-up time.
Human error is still a factor in many hand-written documents, and for staff members, entering incorrect or incomplete information from an application into a database can rule out certain applicants based on reasons having nothing to do with their eligibility. Moving the process online will reduce the chances for inaccurate applications.
8. Applicants are provided with an immediate confirmation receipt.
In the final and most important stages of providing a satisfactory experience for potential tenants through the application process, online wait lists can give applicants the chance to also check the status of their application online. Keeping applicants updated is a necessary and important step of the wait list process and putting it online cuts down on staff hours spent keeping in contact with potential tenants.
For many, the tangible steps needed to take the application process online might still seem like a daunting task. Learn more about PHA online application management software, the advantages of moving the process online, and how it can be done stress-free.