Property Owners Encouraged to List Available Housing
FloridaHousingSearch.org is a free place to list and find affordable housing in Florida.
FloridaHousingSearch.org offers rental property owners, including providers of critically needed affordable and special needs housing, a place to advertise their properties at no cost, while allowing renters to easily find property that fits their needs. The site is now available for owners to begin listing properties and for families seeking housing to search for units that meet their specific needs.
Pinellas County’s participation is a result of a homelessness prevention initiative launched by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. In May 2007, the commission approved the expenditure of $358,436 for a contract given to Boley Centers to enact a program to help residents in danger of losing their homes. By providing assistance that could include a month’s rent, the payment of a bill, negotiating with a landlord or referring clients to social services, the staff at Boley has already helped many families remain in homes.
As part of the program, Boley is required to maintain an updated list of affordable rental properties in the county, one that includes information on HUD housing and landlords who accept county rent vouchers. Boley joined FloridaHousingSearch.org, which not only accomplishes the task of maintaining an updated list, but which offers the service to the entire community to include residents, landlords and social service providers.
“This really is a wonderful tool for all of Pinellas County and is a real step toward making affordable housing more accessible,” said Maureen Freaney, director of Pinellas County Health and Human Services. “We hope this service can make it easier to match property owners with potential tenants and help us to approach our goal of preventing homelessness.”
The website offers 24-hour access to managing, adding and updating property listings. A bilingual call center is available to support those who do not use the Internet. Detailed property listings allow owners to highlight amenities and special features, including photos of available properties. Landlords can also use property management tools to maintain their property inventory and the search feature for conducting neighborhood and pricing comparisons.
With the service already active and widely used in several regions around the state, Pinellas County is expected to draw significant housing listings and searches to the site. The Pinellas County Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, sponsors this service.
FloridaHousingSearch.org is developed and managed by Socialserve.com, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to serving the affordable housing needs of communities. Socialserve.com serves 20 states and over a third of the U.S. population.