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S O L U T I O N TO A F F O R D A B L E H O U S I N G

DIANA BREWER / DES 505 / SUMMER 2019


Abstract According to an article published in Business Insider from 2018, the average rent price for a 1 bedroom apartment at $3448 and the average home buying price at $1.62 million, the residents of San Francisco struggle to pay their rent or mortgage each month due to the outrageous housing prices. Two thirds of families across America survive on less than what San Francisco’s average “low-income” family income, which is $117,400. Even some professionals in San Francisco are now qualified as “low-income”. The affordable housing program of San Francisco needs a mobile platform that helps residence get housing assistance.

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Table of Contents 03 CHAPTER ONE

31 CHAPTER THREE

65 CHAPTER FOUR

04 PROJECT INTODUCTION

33 INTRO + RATIONALE

66 SOLUTION ANALYSIS

05 PROBLEM/PURPOSE

35 USERS NEEDS

67 EXPERT FEEDBACK

06 PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

36 DEISGN OBJECTIVES

70 USER FEEDBACK

07 IMPORTANCE OF STUDY

37 INSPIRTATIONS

71 COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

08 ASSUMPTIONS

38 DESIGN ATTRIBUTES

73 REFLECTION

09 PROJECT SCOPE

39 COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

74 STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES

10 DEFINITION OF TERMS

42 MAPPING MATRIX

75 WHAT’S NEXT

11 TIMELINE

43 PERT CHART

77 BIBLIOGRAPHY

13 HYPOTHESES

44 STORYBOARD

79 APPENDIX

14 CHAPTER CONCLUSION

45 BENEFICIARIES

15 CHAPTER TWO 16 RESEARCH METHODS 17 NEED ASSESSMENT 18 PANEL OF EXPERTS 19 SURVEY QUESTIONS 21 SURVEY FINDINGS 23 PERSONAS 31 FINAL SOLUTION 32 CHAPTER CONCLUSION

46 SOLUTION MATRIX 47 DESIGN GUIDE 49 CONCEPT SKETCHES 51 WIREFRAMES 53 FINAL SOLUTION 54 DESIGN THEME 55 PROTOTYPES 51 POSTER 63 CHAPTER SUMMARY

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03

CHAPTER ONE


Project Introduction San Francisco is notorious for having outrageous housing costs. According to San Francisco Planning, Programs including HOME-SF have required developers to set aside 20-30% of units for affordable housing. Through the Below Market Rate (BMR) Homeownership Program, lowincome residents of San Francisco can now apply to purchase those homes at a below market rate or rent those units for an affordable price, however, the program is lacking easy accessibility on mobile and web devices. AffordableSF is an app aimed to help members of the BMR Housing Program apply for housing and become educated on renting and homeownership.


Problem

AFFORDABLESF

Low-income residents of San Francisco struggle to pay their rent or mortgage each month due to the outrageous housing prices, and Below Market Rate Programs have a stigma for long waitlists and not much opportunity.

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Purpose To create an easily accessible way for low income families to sign up for San Francisco’s Below Market Rate Housing Program through mobile and web applications.


Preliminary Research The current housing portal for the City of San Francisco (DAHLIA) lacks an easy application process. For every unit application, the user must fill out a new online form with no previously saved information. Before applying you must complete several tasks including attending an 8 hour class on home renter/buyer education and re-uploading approval forms for every application. This process makes applying for units harder and requires more time.

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Importance of the Study

AFFORDABLESF

In 2002, San Francisco began its Below Market Rate program for low-income families and individuals. New housing developments are required to set aside a certain percentage of their units for low-income housing, giving families and individuals in need an affordable way to live in San Francisco. Many families are forced to live in housing with mold, leaks, and other difficulties that are hazardous to their health and the safety of their family. The Below Market Rate Program helps families find affordable homes to live in, however, there is not enough educational information provided to families about the process of applying and there isn’t a simplified mobile version that will help families have an easier time with applying.

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Assumptions

1

Waitlists are too long and families will never be selected for a unit

2

Low income residents have a stigma of facing a lack of support from their surrounding community and being “undeserving� of aid

3

Signing up for the program is hard and it’s only meant for families more deserving

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Project Scope/ Parameters The overall goal for the final product was to have a fully developed mobile application, however, due to the time contraints of the short summer period, the project will consist of wireframes and mockups displaying the new interactive features for the Low Income Housing Program of San Francisco.


Operational Definition of Terms Below Market Rate (BMR) Units that are sold to individuals that meet certain income requirements at prices below current market prices Affordable Housing Housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income. Low Income Households earning less than twice the federal poverty line

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Timeline Group Personas/Scenarios Create case study scenario with 6 personas, activities, and challenges

First Day of Class Class overview and research journal/blogger introductions

July 2nd

AFFORDABLESF

June 25th

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Research Proposal Outline Refined problem/purpose statement with updated assets, bibliography, and experts

July 9th July 3rd

Problem/Purpose Statements Present 3 statements along with user beneficiaries, stakeholders, environmental context and resources

July 10th

Library Meeting With Darlene Tong Library research information and final project proposal preliminary pitch


Solution Design Guide Outline Due Design guide, preliminary concepts, prototypes and storyboards due

July 18th

August 1st July 25th

Midterm Presentation 10 minute slide presentations per student

Final Presentation Focuses on chapters three and four of project

August 15th August 8th

Presentation Posters Due Concept refinement, prototype review, and presentation posters due

Final Project Booklet and Poster Due Informal reception and poster presentation

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AFFORDABLESF

Hypotheses

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1

By improving the process to apply for low income housing, residents will have a better understanding of how the program works and have easy access to resources and waitlist updates

2

By increasing awareness for the low income housing program, more residents will be able to live in a safer environment

3

By providing resources and strategies to families that struggle financially, AffordableSF can reduce stress and increase health by reassuring families that there are solutions available


Chapter Conclusion The current Below Market Rate Program (DAHLIA) helps families find affordable homes to live in, however, there is not enough educational information provided to families about the process of applying and there isn’t a simplified mobile version that will help families have an easier time with applying. The goal of this project is to create an easily accessible way for low income families to sign up for San Francisco’s Below Market Rate Housing Program through a mobile application.


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CHAPTER TWO


Research Methodology Since this project mainly concerns the community of low income residents in San Francisco, research will be conducted in regards to families and individuals who qualify for the program and experts who are involved in housing programs around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Interviews

Experts

Surveys

Personas

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Need Assesment Depending on the results from the survey, advice from the experts, and information gathered from interviews, a better foundation for the project can be determined.


Panel of Experts Several experts were contacted and asked for feedback, suggestions and guidance throughout the entire research process. The three experts selected to review this project are all invloved in affordable housing programs around the San Francisco Bay Area.

RenĂŠe Daskalakis

Debbie Koski

Brittany Horwich

Sales Administrator for San Mateo’s First Time Home Buyer Program

Senior Housing Program Officer for Tipping Point Community

Service Coordinator for Project Homeless Connect

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Survey Questions A number of survey questions were asked in an anonymous questionnaire that was distributed online. All of the questions are related to housing and will help in decided which features of the application will be important to focus on.

AFFORDABLESF

Have you ever been homeless(i.e. living in car, sleeping on friends couch, etc.) or been in risk of losing your housing due to financial hardships? Yes No

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In what city do you live? [Fill in the blank] How old are you? < 17 18 - 24 25 - 34

35 - 44 45 - 54 55 - 64

65 - 74 75 - 84 85 >


Which of the following best describes your current housing situation? Homeowner Renter Living with family and not contributing to rent Living with family and contributing to rent Living with roommates/friends and contributing rent Living with roommates/friends and not contributing to rent Homeless(i.e. living in car, sleeping on friends couch, etc.) Have you heard of any affordable housing programs in your city? Yes, but I haven’t acted upon it Yes, but I don’t qualify Yes, but I’m not interested No What are the three main reasons you haven’t moved into a new apartment/ home? (Select all that apply) Can’t break lease Can’t sell house Can’t afford a downpayment/deposit Can’t afford to move Other Can’t find affordable housing

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AFFORDABLESF

Survey Findings

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60%

100%

80%

20%

60% of voters said they had never heard of a BMR program in their city

100% of voters said they couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to move into a new apartment

80% of voters said they still live at home with their family and contribute to rent

20% of voters said they faced homelessness at least once in their life

Based on these findings, it is clear that residents are unaware of the below market rate program and more exposure to the program needs to be implemented. The results prove the hypothesis that residents canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford the housing costs and there needs to be a better way for them to find a safe place to live.


“It’s a great idea to increase awareness for affordable housing in San Francisco” — Renée Daskalakis Sales Administrator for San Mateo’s First Time Home Buyer Program

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Personas

AFFORDABLESF

Multiple personas were created n order to gain a better understanding of the users and beneficiaries of this product.

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Miranda

Joe

Gabe

Single mother who struggles to make ends meet every month for rent.

Can’t afford a larger apartment to accommodate starting a family

Can’t afford to move out of his apartment that is infested with toxic mold and rats

Pam

Eric

Phil

Can’t afford to move her elderly mother into a home with her

Can’t afford a to move out of roommates and into own apartment closer to work

Affordable housing coordinator needing a better web management tool


Miranda Miranda is a single mother who struggles to make ends meet every month for rent. She works two jobs and she is forced to send her 4 year old daughter to day care everyday while sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at work. All Miranda wants is to be able to afford her rent and be able to cut down on work hours so she can spend more time with her daughter. Miranda has heard of the low income housing program and has signed up, however she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to check in with her position on the waitlist.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Time Management 2 Confusing Waitlist 3 Financial Instability 1

Vision 5 Hearing 6 Mobility 6 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 4 Strength 5 Memory 5 Attention 3

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Joe Joe is a musician who just got married to his long-time girlfriend and wants to save up to buy their first house and start a family. However, with the housing costs in San Francisco, Joe doesn’t know if they’ll ever be able to afford to buy a house or if they’ll be forced to move to a different city further away from their jobs.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Saving For A House 2 Living In Small Place 3 Financial Instability 1

Vision 6 Hearing 6 Mobility 6 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 5 Strength 6 Memory 6 Attention 4


Gabe Gabe is an accounting manager for a start up company and is looking to improve his and his fianceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s housing situation, but doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make enough money from his full-time job. His current apartment has rats and a mold problem and Gabe has had a hard time breathing for the past year.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Allergic To Mold 3 Scared Of Rats 1 Financial Instability 2

Vision 5 Hearing 6 Mobility 5 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 3 Strength 4 Memory 4 Attention 3

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Pam Pam is a divorced middle-aged woman who is looking to buy a home so she can care for her elderly mother. Pam was laid off 2 years ago and canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current housing market prices. She owned a house 5 years ago, but since San Francisco allows you to apply for below market rate housing after 3 years of not owning a home, she is qualified to apply.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Distance To Mother 3 No work 2 Financial Instability 1

Vision 4 Hearing 5 Mobility 6 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 6 Strength 5 Memory 6 Attention 6


Eric Eric is a chef at a 4-star restaurant in the Marina District. He lives with 4 messy roommates but is looking to finally have his own apartment closer to work. Ericâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job only pays him $18/hour plus tips, which is not enough to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in San Francisco. Eric makes the minimum amount to qualify for the Below Market Rate Program, but is unsure if he will be able to keep up with rent on his own.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Commuting To Work 1 Messy Roomates 2 Financial Instability 3

Vision 6 Hearing 6 Mobility 6 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 5 Strength 6 Memory 6 Attention 6

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Phil Phil has worked for the housing authority for San Francisco for several years. Phil helps low income families find affordable housing through the DAHLIA housing lottery system. Phil recieves several calls and emails a day from confused applicants about where they are in terms of the lottery. He wants there to be an easier way for applicants to check up on their status on the waitlist.

Challenges /

Abilities /

Confused Applicants 3 Difficult System 2 Too Many Emails 1

Vision 3 Hearing 3 Mobility 4 Grasp 5

Least (1) to Most (3)

Ability (1) to Disability (6) Balance 3 Strength 4 Memory 2 Attention 4


“Somewhere along the way, California decided that adding enough new housing is a bad thing.” — State Senator Scott Weiner Leader on the housing policy for San Francisco

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Final Hypothesis By improving the process to apply for low income housing and providing resources and strategies to families that struggle financially, users will have a better understanding of how the program works and will have reduced stress and eliminated stigmas about never being chosen for an affordable unit.

Final Solution Research will entail interviews, surveys, and advice from experts to help create a mobile app aimed to improve the application process for affordable housing. Improvements will include online education videoson the process, saved user profiles and approval forms for easy application, live task lists, push notifications on new listings, and more.


Chapter Conclusion Depending on the results from the survey, feedback from experts, and interviews, a better foundation for the project can be determined to improve functionality for the below market rate programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s application process. Once more information is collected, improvements can be made to wireframes and prototypes to better fit the needs of the program.


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CHAPTER THREE


Intro + Rationale To Solution The proposed solution for this project is to develop a mobile application with the purpose of easing the process of applying for affordable housing in San Francisco. The goal of this project is to provide information on what units are available, what number they ranked in the lottery for a certain unit, and other resources to help them gain knowledge about the process of renting or buying a home through free online courses.

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Users/Environmental Needs

AFFORDABLESF

In order to collect the information needed to build a strong foundation for the mobile application, surveys and interviews were conducted as well as research through literature and advice from experts. Based on these findings, it is clear that residents are unaware of the below market rate program and more exposure to the program needs to be implemented. The results prove the hypothesis that residents canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford the housing costs and there needs to be a better way for them to find a safe place to live.

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Design Objectives Ideally, the final product would be a fully developed mobile application, however, due to the time contraints of the short summer period, the project will consist of wireframes and mockups for a mobile application with the purpose of easing the process of applying for affordable housing in San Francisco. The goal of this project is to provide information on what units are available, what number they ranked in the lottery for a certain unit, and other resources to help them gain knowledge about the process of renting or buying a home through free online courses.

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AFFORDABLESF

Inspirations

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Figure 3.1 Pictured above are images that inspired the design of this app. The goal is to have a simple and modern design that combines pictures and text in a way that captures viewers attention all while being easy to read and easy to operate. The samples show one main color combined with one or two accent colors.


Design Concept Attributes Accessible in multiple languages Consistency in design Responsiveness User assistance and help Fast performance speed Accessible on multiple mobile platforms Honest approach to helping residents

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Comparative Analysis

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EFFECTIVE

AFFORDABLESF

INEFFECTIVE

This comparative analysis will review similar solutions and applications related to affordable housing and compare them based on effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Philadelphia Housing Authority In order to reach the housing page, you have to click through several links before you can access a housing list. None of the listings have pictures and require extra research into each housing development.

Burlingame Housing (Housekeys) Although there are still flaws to Burlingameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s housing portal, it remains more effective than other examples because it offers features like planning tools, community center and a file cabinet. Figure 3.2 Screenshot of Philadelphia Housing Authority Website / Figure 3.3 Screenshot of Burlingame Housing (HouseKeys) Website


INEFFECTIVE

Chicago Housing Waitlist

INEFFECTIVE

LA County Affordable Housing

Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s affordable housing program allows users to view expected wait time for specific developments, however most of the waitlists are over 25 years long. A lottery system would be more efficient.

Although each listing has specific details about each untit, no pictures are provided and there is no easy way to apply for the unit besides contacting the manager individually.

Figure 3.4 Screenshot of Chicago Housing Website / Figure 3.5 Screenshot of LA County Housing Website

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INEFFECTIVE EFFECTIVE

AFFORDABLESF 41

Emeryville Affordable Housing Emeryvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s affordable housing program requires applications to be completed via phone calls to multiple developments. This process may cause users to become frustrated if phone calls are not answered.

NYC Housing Authority The NYC Housing Authority offers a website portal and mobile app for residents to access housing listings, subscribe to alerts for outages, and pay your rent.

Figure 3.6 Screenshot of Emeryville Housing Authority Website / Figure 3.7 Screenshot of NYC Housing Authority Website


Mapping Matrix Mobile

Ineffective

Effective

Website Portal

Figure 3.8 Pictured above is a mapping matrix of the six affordable housing websites placed based on their effectiveness and whether they were built on a mobile application or website.

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Pert Chart Panel of Experts Interviews Ideation

Start

Surveys

Sketches Wireframing

Inspiration

Preliminary Concepts

Web Sources Personas

Prototype

Timeline

AFFORDABLESF

Contact Organizations

Interviews Process Book

Design Concept Problem/Purpose Comparative Analysis Research Methodology

Reflection

Final Prototype

Assumptions Hypothesis

Project Scope

Figure 3.9 Diagram of research and ideation process

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Finalize

Poster Review

Presentation


Story Board This story board gives a synopsis of what current applicants are struggling with and how AffordableSF will improve the process.

Miranda is a single mother that struggle to pay all of her bills each month

She decides to look on her phone for housing on Craigslist, Zillow and other housing apps

After not finding any available apartments in her price range, she decides to look for housing assistance

During her search for affordable housing, Miranda finds a program called AffordableSF

She downlads the AffordableSF application and learns how to easily apply for the low income housing program

Miranda enters a housing lottery, checks on her status and eventually gets selected for a below market rate unit

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AFFORDABLESF

Beneficiaries

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Residents who live or work in San Francisco Housing Developers The Housing Authority of San Francisco The city of San Francisco


Solution Matrix This solution Matrix demonstrates which design components are most useful to the different users. Website

Families

Mobile App

Posters

Least Useful

Low-Income Residents

Somewhat Useful

Program Coordinators

Most Useful

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Icons

AFFORDABLESF

Icons will be used in the bottom navigation as shortcuts to access pages such as home, favorites, search, files, and user profile. Since icons are universal, they are easy to understand for all users, including those who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fluent in English.

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Color Scheme Orange is the main color of the application, as it represents family, encouragement and success. The main goal of the application is to encourage residents and families that there IS a solution for housing.


Fonts Open Sans Light A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Open Sans Semi-Bold ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP QR STUV W X Y Z

Open Sans Bold ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP QR S TUV W X Y Z

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AFFORDABLESF

Concept Sketches

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Listings Rent

Buy

Street Address

3 Bed / 2 Bath, 1400 sq/f

$1,647 /month

Street Address

3 Bed / 2 Bath, 1400 sq/f

Favorite

Location

$1,647

Reviews

/month

Share

Username About this listing

jane123@email.com

Password *************

This newly build 3 bedroom 2 bathroomcis located in the heart of the Mission District, with easy access to Bart and other public transportation.

Street Address

4 Bed / 2.5 Bath, 1500 sq/f

$1,647 /month

Minimum Requirements Must have a minimum income of $3,294/month. Occupancy for this unit is 4-7 people. Section 8 housing vouchers and other valid rental assistance programs can be used for this property.

Apply

Log In

Jane Doe

Files YouÕre almost there! Looks like you still have a few tasks to complete before you can start applying for housing.

Applicant Info

Submit program application In order to be qualiÞed to apply for BMR housing, you must complete and submit

First and Last Name

Complete member proÞles Email

Address

County Location

Member proÞles will allow the program to keep track of each household memberÕs income and help you qualify for the right amount of bedrooms for a unit.

Each applicant is required to complete an more about the process for applying to housing and receiving educational training about renting and Þrst time home buying.

Household Size

Applications Estimated Househould Income

Household


Wireframes These wireframes show the design flow of where each page will lead to based on which buttons are clicked on each screen.

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Final Solution The final design for the app features an available listings page, user profile, file cabinet, favorites list, and much more. These features will give residents of San Francisco an easier way to apply for housing assistance. 53


Design Theme

The â&#x20AC;&#x153;SFâ&#x20AC;? portion of the logo has a roof over the top to represent housing in San Francisco

The top of the log in page, along with several other pages in the app, has the same roof shape as the logo to represent housing in San Francisco

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Prototypes/User Experience Loading Screen

Logo

AFFORDABLESF

Clean logo appears when application is loading.

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Login Page

Login Form Users can input their login info to gain access to the app.

Login Button By pressing the button, the login information will be submitted and approved if inputted correctly.

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Available Listings

Filters

AFFORDABLESF

Users can filter which listing they want to view based on whether they are renting or buying, price, size, and location.

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Listings Users can scroll through the listings feed located on the homepage.


Single Listing

Slider Slideshow at the top of the screen shows different images of the listing.

Apply Button By clicking the apply button, users will be take to another page to complete an application for the unit.

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File Cabinet

Tasks

AFFORDABLESF

Each applicant must submit all tasks befor qualifying for the application process.

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Files Applicants can access all of their files and applications here.


User Profile

Profile Picture Applicant can create a profile and upload a profile picture.

User Info Name, email, address and other info must be submitted through the applicant info and stay up to date with each application.

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S O L U T I O N TO A F F O R D A B L E H O U S I N G

Abstract San Francisco is notorious for having outrageous housing costs and the city’s below market rate program is lacking easy accessibility on mobile and web devices.

Problem

Purpose

Low-income residents of San Francisco struggle to pay their rent or mortgage each month due to the outrageous housing prices, and Below Market Rate Programs have a stigma for long waitlists and not much opportunity.

To create an easily accessible way for low income families to sign up for San Francisco’s Below Market Rate Housing Program through mobile and web applications.

Findings In order to collect the information needed to build a strong foundation for the mobile application, surveys and interviews were conducted as well as research through literature and advice from experts. Based on these findings, it is clear that residents are unaware of the below market rate program and more exposure to the program needs to be implemented. The results prove the hypothesis that residents can’t afford the housing costs and there needs to be a better way for them to find a safe place to live.

60%

100%

80%

20%

60% of voters said they had never heard of a BMR program in their city

100% of voters said they couldn’t afford to move into a new apartment

80% of voters said they still live at home with their family and contribute to rent

20% of voters said they faced homelessness at least once in their life

Solution To design an app that features an available listings page, user profile, file cabinet, favorites list, and much more. These features will give residents of San Francisco an easier way to apply for housing assistance.

Poster This poster was designed to give viewers a quick review of the entire project with findings, solutions and final prototypes.


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Chapter Summary

AFFORDABLESF

This chapter truly defines the project by introducing the design concepts as well as the proposed solution, a comparative analysis of current housing program websites around the United States, sketches and prototypes for the proposed solution, and a user experience analysis.

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CHAPTER FOUR


Concept/Solution Analysis This chapter discusses expert feedback and suggestions, user feedback, a comparative analysis of the current housing website for San Francisco and the proposed mobile application solution, product risk assesment, as well as future plans for this project. All of this feedback was given after a presentation of the midterm report and design guide.

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Renée Daskalakis / Sales Administrator for the City of San Mateo’s First Time Home Buyer Program

“This app design really looks amazing! It’s a great idea to increase awareness for affordable housing in San Francisco and it looks extremely beneficial for consumers. However, this product needs to be easy on both ends— for the consumer and the person handling the waitlist. A database system would be easier to handle for someone working behind it, whereas an app would be easier for residents applying.”

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Brittany Horwich / Service Coordinator for Project Homeless Connect

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Overall you have done a great job! I love the idea of creating a mobile platform and making it feel easy to use. Being able to easily see if you made it into the lottery is great, as I believe not everyone makes it in and you have to remember which date to attend the hearing or check back on the website to know if you even made the cut and after that, you still need to constantly check to see if your lottery number changes.â&#x20AC;?

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Debbie Koski / Senior Housing Program Officer for Tipping Point Community

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because there is a such a small supply of affordable units and huge demand, there has been little incentive in the field to improve access. I agree this is a problem, and your solution would help optimize the public sector. If you move from prototyping to development, I would recommend you consider apply apply an equity lens to your work and ensure that the application can be used in different languages, and is distributed to a wide range of communities.â&#x20AC;? 69


User Feedback Jacqueline Fernando / Former Low Income Housing Applicant for the City of San Mateo

â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I applied for the low income housing program in San Mateo, I had no way of checking up on my status on the waitlist. Since there was only one waitlist for the whole city, I ended up waiting for 6 years until I finally received a call about an available unit. I had to repeatedly call the organizer to check up. The AffordableSF app is such an improvement from what I had to deal with. Since there is a new lottery/waitlist for each unit for the program in San Francisco, it makes the whole process of applying a lot more efficient. Being able to access your status for every application as easily as on your phone is something I wish that I was able to use when I went through the process of finding affordable housing!â&#x20AC;?

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Comparative Analysis

AFFORDABLESF

This comparative analysis will review similar solutions and applications related to affordable housing and compare them to the final solution of this project.

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DAHLIA SF Housing Protal The current housing portal for the City of San Francisco (DAHLIA) lacks an easy application process. For every unit application, the user must fill out a new online form with no previously saved information. Before applying you must complete several tasks including attending an 8 hour class on home renter/ buyer education and re-uploading approval forms for every application. This process makes applying for units harder and requires more time.


AffordableSF AffordableSF creates the opportunity for BMR applicants to find information on what units are available, what number they ranked in the lottery for a certain unit, and other useful resources to help them gain knowledge about the process of buying a home or renting a unit through free interactive online courses. AffordableSF has a universal application that can be used for any unit of their choice, cutting down time on the application process.

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Product Risk Assessment Some product risks are that users may not have an iphone, may not understand how to use apps on phones, may not have wifi, or may not understand how to download the app.

AFFORDABLESF

Reflection

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Almost all of the feedback from users and experts was positive feedback. In order to fully function in a way that is beneficial for the consumers and the people behind the program, there needs to be a web management tool added that is accessible via computer. Adding on this feature would be part of the future steps for this project.


Strengths/Weaknesses With every product comes strengths and weaknesses. The strengths in this project are that the app is endorsed by 3 experts in the housing field who think it would be a great idea to gain more exposure and applications for the program, the app provides an easier way for people to apply, and the helps mobilize the program overall. The weaknesses are that the prototypes do not currently have a web management that help the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waitlist coordinators to access applications and applicant information.

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Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Next? The next steps for this project are to propose and develop a web management tool for the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waitlist coordinators to access applications and applicant information, to build out more function and video features, and to pitch the design to DAHLIA, which is the current housing portal for San Francisco.

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Thank You.

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APPENDIX


Experts Renée Daskalakis / Renée is the Sales Administrator for the city of San Mateo’s Fist Time Homebuyers Program and the Sales Administrator for the city of Menlo Park’s Below Market Rate Housing Program. She is also a real estate agent for several communities all around the Peninsula. Renée was chosen to be an expert because of her background in managine waitlists for low income housing.

Brittany Horwich/ Brittany is the Service Coordinator for Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco who is dedicated to removing barriers for the less fortunate in San Francisco. Brittany was chosen as an expert because of her knowledge on the housing crisis and how DAHLIA can help low income residents.


Debbie Koski/ Debbie is the Senior Program Officer for Housing at Tipping Point Community in San Francisco. Debbie has had over 10 years of experience in affordable housing and non-profit financing, making her the perfect candidate as an expert in this project.


Images/Graphics Figure 3.2 / Moodboard All of the following inspiration photos were found on Pinterest. These images inspired the design of the application.


Figure 3.2 / Philadelphia Housing Authority In order to reach the housing page, you have to click through several links before you can access a housing list. None of the listings have pictures and require extra research into each housing development.


Figure 3.3 / Burlingame Housing Portal (Housekeys) Although there are still flaws to Burlingameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s housing portal, it remains more effective than other examples because it offers features like planning tools, community center and a file cabinet.


Figure 3.4 / Chicago Housing Waitlist Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s affordable housing program allows users to view expected wait time for specific developments, however most of the waitlists are over 25 years long. A lottery system would be more efficient.


Figure 3.5 / LA County Affordable Housing Although each listing has specific details about each untit, no pictures are provided and there is no easy way to apply for the unit besides contacting the manager individually.


Figure 3.6 / Emeryville Affordable Housing Emeryvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s affordable housing program requires applications to be completed via phone calls to multiple developments. This process may cause users to become frustrated if phone calls are not answered.


Figure 3.7 / NYC Housing Authority The NYC Housing Authority offers a website portal and mobile app for residents to access housing listings, subscribe to alerts for outages, and pay your rent.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Bibliography Brewer, Diana, and Renée Daskalakis. “Interview with Renée Daskalakis.” 26 Aug. 2019. Brewer, Diana, and Brittany Horwich. “Interview with Brittany Horwich.” 1 Aug. 2019.

Burlingame Housekeys, www.myhousekeys.com/. Chicago Waitlist Times, applyonline.thecha.org/PopupWaitTimes.aspx. City of Emeryville, CA Housing Programs, www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/224/Housing-Programs. DAHLIA San Francisco Housing Portal, housing.sfgov.org/. Garfield, Leanna. “San Francisco’s Housing Crisis Is so Dire That Nearly 7,000 People

Applied for 95 Affordable Apartments.” Business Insider Singapore, 15 May

2018, www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-affordable-homes-lottery-2018-5.

Hiltzik, Michael. “Column: California’s Housing Crisis Reaches from the Homeless to the

Middle Class - but It’s Still Almost Impossible to Fix.” Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar.

2018, www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-housing-crisis-20180330-story.

html.


“HOME-SF” SF Planning, sfplanning.org/home-sf. “Housing” Tipping Point Community, tippingpoint.org/ what-we-do/issue-areas/housing/.

LA County Housing Resource Center, housing.lacounty.gov/index.html. NYC Housing Authority, www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/index.page. Philadelphia Housing Authority, pha.phila.gov/. “455 Fell Street.” DAHLIA San Francisco Housing Portal, housing.sfgov.org/listings/ a0W0P00000Gdm2wUAB.


Profile for Diana Brewer

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