(NEWARK, NJ) -- Solving a major difficulty for people seeking affordable housing in Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka launched a housing locator site, NewarkHousingSearch.com on June 16, which enables prospective tenants to find affordable housing in the City of Newark, completely free of charge through detailed listings. The site offers users the ability to search listings along a variety of potential details including photographs, size and type of bedrooms, rental costs, eligibility requirements, special needs, neighborhood, ward, seniors only, distance from public transportation, on-site amenities, neighborhood services such as hospitals and schools and other useful information. Property listings are shown on a map as well as by address.
NewarkHousingSearch.com is the result of Mayor Baraka's determination to provide greater access to affordable housing opportunities for all residents. The Mayor envisioned the concept before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was one of his five-year housing goals announced last year. The housing goals are part of his comprehensive equitable growth strategy to facilitate more affordable housing production and preservation and better connect residents to it.
"I am committed to producing and preserving more affordable housing, so that more individuals and families can establish or strengthen roots in Newark," said Mayor Baraka. "Part of this mission is making it easier for people to search for the type of affordable housing they need. No matter where I go in Newark, people will approach me and ask for help in finding a home they can afford. This housing locator will help fill a gap that has long existed."
Units listed on the locator platform are a combination of private-market properties, federal-funded projects and Newark Housing Authority sites. Property owners, managers and landlords can use the website to advertise their available affordable for-sale properties and rental units. Providers simply have to register online or by phone in order to showcase their availabilities to a wide pool of potential tenants. The website can also assist landlords who are interested in offering housing opportunities to special needs groups (for example, veterans, differently-abled, and the formerly homeless).
The Newark Housing Locator is backed by a call center of Housing Specialists who can assist users with their apartment search in Newark. Those Housing Specialists are available toll-free in English and Spanish Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 8:00pm at 1-877-428-8844. The call center helps tenants search available listings and helps landlords to register, add and update listings with no time limit on calls giving callers the time they need to ask any questions they might have.
The initial year of this program is funded by the Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Ballmer Group through Results for America. Preliminary design and ideation were aided by the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), a partner of What Works Cities (WWC) Economic Mobility Initiative, BIT worked with Newark's Department of Economic and Housing Development to incorporate best practices including a survey of Newark residents to ensure the most user-friendly experience.