In short, Princeton's supply of 1,024 affordable-housing units — subsidized or price-controlled housing available through an application process based on applicants' income and other factors — is dwarfed by demand. The waiting list to secure affordable housing through one of the five entities that administer the units is long.
With those facts in mind, the OneRoof team developed concepts for how they might make the application process more streamlined and user-friendly. They are continuing their work throughout this academic year.
"Through around 40 interviews and other empathy-oriented research methods, we've gained the trust of government officials, the town's housing organizations, affordable-housing residents and hopefuls," said OneRoof team member Edric Huang, a junior anthropology major. "After analyzing all this raw data, we brainstormed where and how we could make an impact on this town and developed nine potential designs, which we intend to refine, narrow down and test in the real world."
Ideas include an improved online application, greater support for those on the waiting list and a schools-based community network — all designed to improve the lives of those seeking affordable housing.
"In the near future, we're looking to determine the desirability, feasibility and viability of these potential solutions and narrow them down to one approach or a combination of approaches," said team member Suzhen Jiang, a sophomore planning to major in computer science.