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Housing Opportunity Finder

The Problem

Nationwide, many of the 2.2 million families with Section 8 vouchers struggle to find affordable housing, especially in high-opportunity neighborhoods with low crime, good schools, and access to jobs.

  • In Durham County, the average voucher family spends 120 days searching for housing
  • Nearly a third of vouchers expire before a family can find housing
  • Per a recent study, only 5% of voucher families live in high-opportunity areas—while 18% of affordable units are in those areas. To close that gap, 338,940 Section 8 families would need to move to high-opportunity neighborhoods.

The Solution: Housing Opportunity Finder

A collaborative, community-driven process

  • Identify community partners
  • Hold focus groups with residents to understand how they define opportunity
  • Analyze neighborhood data to better understand opportunity

An accessible webapp product

  • ‘Scrapes’ affordable rentals from multiple listing websites
  • Prioritizes affordable listings in opportunity areas
  • Allows users to customize their measures of opportunity (such as school quality or access to transit)
  • Marketed by community partners and local housing agencies
  • Evaluated to improve processes and product

Combining Process + Product: Enhancing Opportunity Cycle

By combining a community-driven process with an accessible product, the Housing Opportunity Finder can both connect low-income families to affordable housing and increase the amount of available affordable housing in communities.

Visit the Housing Opportunity Finder here!



Read more about the Housing Opportunity Finder in the article “Harvey Award Funds Web App to Help Families Find Affordable Housing” here.

The Team & Contact Info

Dr. William Rohe, Co-Founder
Dr. Michael Webb, Co-Founder
Ms. Janet Xiao, Durham Community Lead
Contact: :: 919-962-0122

Unlocking Doors Initiative Orange County Partnership to End HomelessnessCommunity Empowerment FundDurham Housing Authority CURS