Protecting affordable homeownership in NYC

  • Case HomeFix with the Center for NYC Neighborhoods
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  • Client Center for NYC Neighborhoods
  • Industry Nonprofit
  • Year 2019
  • Capabilities Design Research
    Design Education
    Service Design
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The Center for NYC Neighborhoods is the largest independent non-profit organization devoted to supporting low- and moderate-income homeowners in NYC. We partnered with the Center to help launch the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's new HomeFix program, which aims to fund essential repairs that maintain the health and integrity of their homes.

Challenge

Home repairs can be difficult to afford, and few New Yorkers are aware of the programs provided by non-profits and the government to help alleviate the burden. In 2019, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development launched HomeFix to centralize and expand their housing retrofitting and repair programs for limited income New Yorkers. We partnered with the Center to make HomeFix easier for homeowners to navigate, streamlining the coordination and expanding the delivery of home repair resources with non-profit organizations across the city, including the Parodneck Foundation, AAFE Community Development Fund, and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City.

Solution

We visited New Yorkers across the city to interview them in their homes. This helped us contextualize and fully grasp their maintenance challenges, and to give the Center more insight into homeowners’ day-to-day struggles. We conducted stakeholder interviews and used our insights to facilitate conversations and inform workshops with all of the partner agencies. From this, we created a service blueprint that the Center staff can reference as they evolve. As the program grows, the blueprint will give everyone a clear overview of their roles at each step of the process. In addition to the blueprint, we developed materials that partners can reference to align on the future experience, and a video of the homeowner interviews that can be shared with stakeholders to keep homeowners’ perspectives front and center.

There’s nothing like getting insight about homeownership programs directly from the people we’re trying to serve. Between this, and the process visualizations that now adorn our office, I'm impressed with the work Designit has done for us. Joseph Sant, Deputy General Counsel, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

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