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5 Public Housing Authority Website Tips for a Better User Experience

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The demand for affordable housing has reached an all-time high, and with more residents seeking help, it’s important to have a Public Housing Authority website design that is optimized to provide the best user experience for its local community.

There is generally an application process, a waitlist, and specific qualifications that need to be met to apply for and receive assistance. The easier it is to located and access this information, the better you can serve the local community.

Many towns and counties haven’t updated their Public Housing Authority websites in years, and some are using designs created long before mobile web browsing was a thing. What were the industry standard and best practices back then in terms of web design are outdated and irrelevant in today’s mobile-first online environment.

As a provider of a much-needed service, it’s important to deliver the best user experience online, allowing community members to find information on the programs available to them and then apply to and manage their accounts if accepted.

Here are five Public Housing Authority website tips that will help you provide a seamless and pleasant user experience to your community.

1. Upgrade to a Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design

If your website is a bit outdated now is the perfect time to have it redesigned, with a focus on mobile responsiveness. With a large percentage of website traffic coming from mobile devices it’s important that all of your content and functions – like search, account access, housing applications, bill paying, etc. – are easily accessible and performed on smaller screens.

Many town, county, and local government websites are not updated frequently, as is the case with a large percentage of the Public Housing Authority websites we see. Website design has changed dramatically in just the past five years alone, with a focus on simplicity and ease of use.

A Public Housing Authority website needs to offer the same ease of use for community members seeking help that an e-commerce website offers to its customers when they want to make a purchase. The less friction and obstacles in the way, the more follow-through, and conversions, which in this situation are applicants for housing assistance and the payment of monthly rent.

Many older Public Housing Authority websites are built on older frameworks and it makes updating and maintenance difficult. In these situations, we can migrate you over to a new CMS that makes updating information much easier than it was previously.

2. Integrate Your Backend for Easy Tennant Account Management and Payment Processing

Is your current Public Housing Authority website set up to handle account management and bill payments or are you still manually doing all of that work? We have found that several older website builds didn’t integrate a client portal or database management system, leading to unnecessary manual work and record-keeping offline.

We can take your existing technology stack and integrate it on the backend, helping to streamline your entire process, from the initial application for affordable housing to the review and approval process, and then finally the account management including direct payment capabilities online.

This is not only easier for your organization, but it’s also much easier for the users. By enabling online account management and payments, you will have to do less follow-up to collect monthly rent payments. You can also take advantage of auto-billing options, which are convenient for consumers and drastically reduces late payments.

Our team of Public Housing Authority website designers can help suggest and recommend different technology stacks according to your needs and your current setup. In the end, the consumers have an easier platform to interact with and you save time and money through a seamless process all around.

3. Optimize Your Menu Layout for Easy Navigation

Most Public Housing Authority programs have several different options, qualification requirements, applications, procedures, and forms. This can get quite hectic and chaotic if your website isn’t organized and well structured.

Navigation menus used to be large, with little to no structure. A user would simply mouse over one of the options and see sub-menu after sub-menu. If a local community member in need of assistance visits your website and is overwhelmed with information and there is very little structure, they may become discouraged and leave.

You want to make it as simple as possible for those in need to reach out and apply for the help they require. If you have a lot of information think of ways to make it easily accessible.

For example, there will typically be different applications and forms for each housing development and property. Rather than creating sub-menus that have dozens of options, create a simple “Apply” button that takes visitors to a page that is broken down by property and has all of the forms and application information conveniently available.

4. Structure Your Application and Qualification Hierarchy for Improved SEO

As mentioned, there are several steps required to initially seek out affordable housing options and then apply, so it’s important to create pages for each topic and step, to help more local community members in need find the help you offer when searching on Google.

For example, there is an application process, and with affordable housing supply limited there is often a waiting list. That list requires registering for, and then there are eligibility requirements that need to be met.

What are the income limits and thresholds required for applying? Are there reference forms or employment verification documents that need to be completed? These are all questions that are typically searched on Google.

By creating separate pages for everything and designing very thorough resources, you make your Public Housing Authority website more search-friendly, and you make it easier for those seeking help to find, apply, and receive the affordable housing assistance they need.

5. Include Multiple Contact Options on One Dedicated Resource Page

When someone in your community is looking for help it’s important to make them feel comfortable and provide them with multiple ways to contact your Public Housing Authority office to ask questions or receive clarification on eligibility requirements and programs available.

If you have limited contact options or make finding contact information difficult you are putting up a barrier, making it difficult for those that need the help to receive it. A simple “Contact” button at the top and bottom of your website is direct and hard to miss.

This should take the individual to a page that offers multiple ways to reach your offices, giving the user the option to select the one he or she feels most comfortable with. Some to consider include:

  • Full phone directory with department direct extensions
  • Email addresses to each department
  • A contact form with the ability to select multiple topics
  • Live chat
  • Links to all social media profiles

We can help you integrate all of your contact options into your CRM, making communication management streamlined and simple to stay on top of. This helps to ensure your Public Housing Authority website helps as many community members as possible.

Final Thoughts

The Public Housing Authority website suggestions made above require some technical know-how and the ability to work with multiple technology stacks to tie it all together. Most Public Housing Authority departments don’t have a dedicated in-house web team.

If that is the case, don’t worry, as we can help you with everything. Our team of web designers and developers can take your existing website and transform it into a modern mobile-friendly layout that not only provides a better user experience but also makes managing the backend easier for your team.

If you would like to learn more about our Public Housing Authority website design and optimization services, please contact us at your earliest convenience to set up a time to speak with our team. We look forward to helping you provide better access to affordable housing throughout your community.

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