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A new website makes it easier for people in Southwest Missouri to find affordable housing. The Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the City of Springfield unveiled the website Thursday.
The new website is part of the Springfield Affordable Housing Center’s efforts to help people find safe and decent housing that they can afford. Since its soft launch in the middle of January, more than 800 people have visited the website and conducted active searches.
Michelle Garand is deputy director of affordable housing and homeless prevention for the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. She says the website will make it easier for people to find a place to live.
"What we have found over the years is that individuals that are looking for housing tend to go place to place to place trying to find it. They're spending days and days looking for not only properties that not only meet special needs, so whether it's location or whether it's, you know, in that financial catchment that they need or whether it is geographical, and so theaffordablehousingcenter.org really puts all of that information at their fingertips," she said.
Visitors to the site can view available properties in Greene, Christian and Webster Counties. Searches can be done in English and Spanish.
The website’s features also include tenant tools and links such as calculating how much a person can afford in rent and a rental checklist. Landlords can list (at no cost) properties available for rent. And, in the event of a natural disaster, the site will offer emergency housing listings.
Springfield City Manager Greg Burris says, over the last decade, the need for centralized access to affordable housing services has been a red flag issue.
"You've seen it in our Community Focus Report. You've seen it in the Vision 20/20 plans, and then you've seen it most recently in Field Guide 2030, which is our new community strategic plan. Affordable housing has been in each one of those," he said.
Last June, the Affordable Housing Center opened at 300 E. Central to provide help for people who need an affordable place to live. Since then more than 800 people have been helped, and the center has answered more than 9000 phone calls.
Burris says the new website is another step in meeting the community’s needs.