Housing Navigator MA: Meet Tech Top 50 ‘Consumer Tech’ Honoree

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The MassTLC Tech Top 50 celebrates tech companies and leaders across the region who have made a significant impact in the community during the past 12 month. This year, we are excited to recognize winners across 11 categories: Business Accomplishment, Environmental Impact, Leadership, Mosaic (for DEI leadership), Social Responsibility Impact, and the Technology of the Year categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Clean Tech, Consumer Tech, Cybersecurity, Healthcare Tech, and Robotics.

Forty-nine honorees were chosen across these categories, with the final recognition, the Commonwealth Award, given to industry pioneer and co-creator of the spreadsheet, Dan Bricklin.  View the full list of Tech Top 50 winners, here.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about each of the recipients to spotlight their accomplishments and their impact on customers, partners, employees, and the broader community.

Today, meet Housing Navigator Massachusetts, one of this year’s honorees for Consumer Tech.

Housing Navigator Massachusetts is a 501c3 connecting people with places to call home. The organization develops technology that promotes housing equity and data that brings transparency to affordable housing throughout Massachusetts. Working with owners and public sector partners, Housing Navigator Massachusetts has built a database of income-restricted rentals from all over the state. They show listings whenever they have reliable, actionable information. Property owners verify their listings to take things one step further—everywhere you see the “Verified” sign—ensuring that renters find details they can trust.Housing Navigator MA logo___

Describe the new product, including the goal (the why), function (the what), customers (for whom) and why the product and its technology are unique

Housing Navigator Massachusetts, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit, launched its first product—a free, user-friendly search tool for affordable housing in August, 2021. Renters across the Commonwealth can now browse over 2700 rental properties, looking for what they want, when they want. In building the tool and underlying data, we relied on extensive user testing to establish what mattered most to low-and-moderate income renters searching for housing in our overwhelming housing market. Prior to our launch, there was no online product fine-tuned for affordable options. We are only the second housing search tool of this kind in the country and now the most extensive.

What measurable success has this product achieved (this can be qualitative and/or quantitative)?

Our greatest success is the number of users who trust our site—100,000 in the first year and now over 4000 per week. A year since launch, we have heard from renters who found housing and property owners who filled apartments using Housing Navigator MA. We have transformed the transparency of the state’s affordable inventory. As one of our users commented about Housing Navigator: “(It) made me aware of housing I didn’t know existed.” Most importantly, low and moderate-income renters get the dignity all of us expect—high-quality information upon which to make one of the most important decisions of all—where to call home.

What does it mean to be recognized with the other Tech Top 50 honorees?

Early on, we set our values around making products based on our mission of serving our state’s most vulnerable and always striving to deliver a product as good as anything in the for- profit market. We were honored to be recognized with so many product leaders innovating and creating. It confirms we are delivering on our intentions and bolsters our commitment to bridging divides in housing and digital equity.

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Congraulations to Housing Navigator Massachusetts