Agency consolidates 15 different paper housing applications into one digital application
By Chad Winthrop
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has consolidated over a dozen different paper housing applications for permanent housing into one digital application.
On May 7, LAHSA, Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) announced the launch of a new Universal Housing Application (UHA). The UHA, which saw soft rollout last month, consolidates 15 different paper housing applications into one digital application. According to LAHSA, under this new system people can shave up to 30 days off the application process.
“This streamlined application process removes many barriers for our clients, saves precious time, and builds trust in the system that is there to support them. Ultimately, the most important benefit is that it helps get people housed sooner,” said Heidi Marston, Executive Director of LAHSA.
According to LAHSA, before the UHA, it would take an average of 150 days for a person experiencing homelessness to apply for and move into permanent housing. The agency says case managers spent up to an hour on each application filling them out by hand, and 60 percent of these applications were sent back for corrections in a back-and-forth that could take over a month.
The UHA is integrated with database systems such as the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and Resource Management System (RMS) to autofill up to 60 percent of the application with information already in these systems and uploading any necessary documentation from these systems, LAHSA says.