The Department of Housing and Urban Development unveiled on Thursday a mobile application for iPhones and iPads that allows people to learn about their housing rights and file discrimination complaints while on the go.
Another function of the app, developed by HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity along with HP, gives the housing industry mobile access to information about its responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. It can also be used to research individuals’ housing rights after a natural disaster.
Fair housing groups and other civil rights advocacy organizations can use the app as a tool to help people pursue their housing rights, and the housing industry can use it to educate their members on their responsibilities, says HUD.
“Having this first fair housing mobile application equips people everywhere with the information they need to combat housing discrimination,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We are maximizing the latest technology to make the process for filing fair housing complaints faster and easier and arming our fair housing partners with the information they need to understand their fair housing rights and responsibilities.”
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, and the Asian Real Estate Association of America are among the groups who have indicated their plans to promote the app among their members and in their communities.
HUD introduced the app during the 3rd Annual MobileGov Summit in Washington, D.C., a conference that brings together government and industry IT leaders to discuss trends and best practices for developing the “next generation” mobile government workforce.
“HUD needed an efficient and reliable solution to quickly extend existing capabilities to mobile computing devices,” said Marilyn Crouther, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. Public Sector, HP Enterprise Services. “The new HP application achieves operational goals of HUD – from concept to deployment – while more effectively addressing discrimination complaints. The mobile app simplifies and increases access to government services for people.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace