DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas, announced today that it has implemented its first series of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to improve proactive communications and efficiency in the Housing Choice Voucher program.
This effort was launched as a result of on-going collaborative dialogue with the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD) and the feedback its members have provided DHA. DHA is paying close attention to market opportunities and concerns to become a better business partner to landlords, with the goal of enhancing access to affordable housing.
DHA is deploying innovative solutions to improve the Housing Choice Voucher program with a goal of maximizing the return on investment for private property owners and agents. Increased participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program by landlords and property owners is essential to maintain affordable housing options in our communities.
“I would like to thank Char McCurdy, AAGD president and Ian Mattingly, chair of the AAGD/DHA Task Force for their leadership and collaboration. We have been testing the inspections and virtual assistant tools for the last several months and we are already seeing significant improvements in communications and efficiency with our Housing Choice Voucher partners,” says Troy Broussard, president and chief executive officer of DHA. “DHA is constantly looking for ways to innovate the way we work to better serve our current real estate partners and engage others to work with us. Adopting AI technology is one of the investments we are making to strengthen these important partnerships, so that together we can provide more affordable housing opportunities across North Texas.”
InspectionMate, developed in partnership with local North Texas firm BoodsKapper, serves as DHA’s virtual customer service agent, scheduling appointments, sending reminders, alerts and other communications to property owners and managers regarding their DHA housing inspection. Landlords and tenants can text the InspectionMate assistant, to reschedule their appointment, ask questions and receive answers in real time. The InspectionMate app, available from Apple App or Google Play stores, also provides conversational channels for the clients and landlords to express concerns, share ideas and generally communicate with DHA in real-time.
The AI technology, which is based on machine learning in conjunction with re-vamped operational processes, enabled DHA to complete Housing Choice Voucher inspections within 24 hours vs. weeks.
InspectionMate optimizes and schedules work assignments for the DHA inspections team, allows for real-time chat communications with the landlord about the inspection and allows for ad hoc scheduling changes. Property management teams receive a clear schedule and anticipated arrival time for their inspection appointments.
In addition to completing inspections faster, DHA expects to gain 30-40% in fuel savings as a result of the AI tool’s ability to more efficiently map inspectors’ schedules and routes.
DHA will present their key efficiency-building milestones at the NAHRO Summer Conference: CONNECT to Results in Boston, Massachusetts from July 11-13, 2019. The results gained through inspection scheduling and route optimization will be the primary focus. “This innovative technology is helping DHA, our business partners – landlords and property managers – as well as our clients gain access to their units faster,” said David Zappasodi, senior vice president and chief operating officer for DHA. “It’s important that this technology is shared with more housing authorities as we all share a common goal of building more sustainable, efficient and seamless affordable housing processes,” he concluded.
Transformative for Public Housing
“BoodsKapper is thrilled to partner with a progressive, forward-thinking Public Housing Authority like DHA to develop a set of targeted technology tools to enhance landlord and client relations,” notes Bejoy Narayana, chief executive officer of BoodsKapper. “Our team is inspired by the fact that we get an opportunity to work on addressing the shortage of affordable housing. When we expedite the inspection process, it addresses an identified barrier for our business partners, private market landlords, and ultimately families are able to move into their homes faster. In the business sector, landlords are not keeping rental housing empty waiting for external inspection processes to be completed so we need to minimize the difficulty of meeting this Housing Choice Voucher Program requirement. At scale, technologies like ours will make an impact.”
BoodsKapper has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 SAP Innovation Awards for its work with DHA. In addition, BoodsKapper pledges to donate 1% of revenues from Public Housing Authorities adopting these tools to charities working in the affordable housing space.
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DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas provides quality, affordable housing to low-income families and individuals through the effective and efficient administration of housing assistance programs. The agency aims to create opportunities for program participants to achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence. DHA provides housing opportunities to ~55,000 people through public housing developments and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs. Our mission is to provide affordable quality housing and access to supportive resources across North Texas. DHA is governed by its Board of Commissioners and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. DHA is an independent, local government entity, that is separate from the Dallas City Housing/Community Services department, which is governed by the City of Dallas. For more information about DHA, please visit www.dhantx.com.
BoodsKapper makes natively artificial intelligence-based (AI) applications for corporations and governmental entities. BoodsKapper software is currently being used by early adopters that include both Fortune 500 corporations and public entities. Bob.AI is the AI-based customer service assistant for all BoodsKapper clients. The word BoodsKapper means messenger in Afrikaans. The company is based out of Dallas. For more information about BoodsKapper please visit www.boodskapper.com