The UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) is proud to announce the launch of the Housing Opportunity Finder website. Funded by a C. Felix Harvey Award given to CURS researchers Bill Rohe and Michael Webb, HousingOpportunityFinder.com is an easy-to-use, free housing search engine the lets people look for affordable rental housing in Durham and Orange Counties.
“What makes this search tool better is that it shows listings that are in opportunity neighborhoods, which is important for users,” said Webb, research director at CURS and project manager for this effort. “This means users will be able to see housing in neighborhoods that usually have low crime rates, good schools, access to jobs and transportation, and a strong sense of community.”
The Housing Opportunity Finder is also unique in that it has different definitions of opportunity for different users. For instance, families with children can find neighborhoods with good schools, while elderly users can find neighborhoods with good access to medical facilities.
“Our team took what residents told us and found data to match what they liked and what they didn’t like,” noted Webb. “We looked at studies about neighborhoods that promote opportunity for low-income families and used these plus the resident feedback to identify opportunity neighborhoods in Durham and Orange Counties.”
Property owners and managers can upload and manage their property listings on the website free of charge. Listings can include pictures, maps and information about nearby amenities. The site is also available in Spanish.
The Housing Opportunity Finder was developed through a partnership between CURS, Community Empowerment Fund, Durham Housing Authority, Orange County Housing Authority, Families Moving Forward, North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, Socialserve and the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness.