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Our Impact

HousingWorks is committed to supporting ALL stakeholders of affordable housing.

We help applicants by providing a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and FREE search tool that allows them to find affordable housing faster than ever.

We help advocates by equipping them with tools to handle larger case loads with greater ease, update waitlists to all housing providers simultaneously, and automate data intake and management to save valuable time. The HousingWorks Advocate Subscription is an invaluable resource for providing the best possible outcomes for your team.

We help providers by offering a full range of Waitlist Administration services, covering everything from when an applicant first applies to when they move in.  No matter what Property Manager software you use, HousingWorks can dovetail with it to save you money, fill vacancies faster, and boost applicant service.

We help housing policymakers by offering real-time housing data unavailable anywhere else. The "ecosystem" model allows HousingWorks to compile up-to-the-minute demand and supply information on affordable housing in the area, providing invaluable insight for future planning. One novel aspect of our system is that the data reports would not be possible if we had not first developed modules that increased service delivery and Fair Housing compliance.

By working with ALL of these key stakeholder groups, HousingWorks is breaking down existing silos in the affordable housing world and generating a massive database of real-time housing data. We believe the HousingWorks "ecosystem" model has the potential to majorly impact homelessness not just in the New England area, but in any region of the country. If brought to scale, the real-time data produced by this model could prove invaluable for everything from emergency response to providing a detailed vision for improving the places we live.

Our History began after The HIV Infoweb, one of the two largest HIV websites on the planet, won an award from the Attorney General of Massachusetts. At that point, the AIDS Housing Task Force requested that the Infoweb team create a resource for persons with HIV who needed housing. The Infoweb team was able to draw on its extensive network of social service agencies across Massachusetts, and was also able to arrange interviews with Housing Authority directors, Departments of City Hall, Lead staff at the offices of various Management Companies, Disability Groups such as Deaf, Inc. and the Carrol Center for the Blind, Agencies serving populations that did not speak English, Homeless Shelters, Regional Housing Advocacy Groups, Legal Service organizations, and CDC staff. Not only did we interview groups from every county, we also volunteered inside various agencies to understand the housing search experience first-hand. We entered data for several Housing Authorities, we worked in various Management Company offices, organizing the files and typing applicant data into the existing waitlist systems. And of course, our staff had also worked with the Boston Living Center, where we staffed its computer room and taught hundreds of its clients how to use a computer and how to search for AIDS information on the 'net. Most of the visitors to that program also had housing needs so we were able to not only interview them but *follow them through the process.*

Early into this process, we realized three things rather quickly:

1. The Housing Search issues affecting persons with HIV were not significantly different from the issues affecting *every other applicant for affordable housing*; so, whatever solution we implemented, would ethically need to be made available to all, including those with no access to, or skill with, a computer, postage, paper, and study time of exhaustive Rules documents.

2. The issue of Housing Search was actually part of a larger issue, which was that the Low-Income Housing World was balkanized* in the extreme: there were more than 40 different types of low-income housing maintained by separate agencies, who published their particular inventory in 40 different formats (or did not publish it at all), with each agency using different terminology to evaluate eligibility for housing. Worse, some agencies used the same eligiblity terminology but assigned the words a different meaning, for example: "Low-Income" might refer to a household making between $0-$24,000 or it might mean a household with a mimimum income of $60,000! It was clear that the Helping Systems had become the MAJOR obstacle to getting housed.

3. The affordable housing world could in essence, be described as three very distinct groups: Applicants and their Advocates, Landlords and Property management, Oversight and Funder and Policy groups) and each group was implementing policies, strategies, and initiatives that were unknowingly wreaking havoc on the other two groups. The system as a whole was at odds with itself emotionallly and in terms of efficiency.

Our solution was to lay a resource over all three that would convert the broken networks into a functioning ecosystem. We created a working model, then re-visted stakholders in all three groups to see if they could figure out how to use without any training. Agencies requested to use the site even during its pilot year, so desperate were they for a parachute.

Some of the key elements that made our model work so well were:

  • Any act performed by any one party solved problems across all three sectors.

  • No contracts or MOUs would need to be signed to enlist participation: as with any ecosystem, anyone in the field was automatically included.

  • We would not require any systems change or education from anyone in order to benefit from the basic benefits of ecosystem; but we created rewards for those who chose to participate at a high level - if system change was adopted, the reward had to be immediately apparent, both emotionally *and* fiscally.

  • Even those who were not aware of our service would benefit, for instance, landlords would receive fewer frivolous applications from ineligible applicants.

  • Our messasge to users was not "everytyhing is connected" but rather, "use this and we will save you time and money". Not everyone is comfortable with both vision and detail.

The impact was immediately appreciated across most stakeholders: applicants found housing with less effort and landlords filled units with less effort. As for the third sector, the data we collected from the other two groups has helped shape policy on multiple levels, from a local neighborhood CDC to a City-wide initiative that resulted in the converion of many so-called affordable units to truly affordable housing.

Our Team

John LaBella
As co-founder of one of the first 100 public access websites on the 'net, John's passion has always been for websites that connect people in healthy and equitable ways. The structure and philosophy of owes itself to John's belief that large and balkanized Helping Systems are so often the major obstables to effective help, but a well-designed website could ensure that these broken networks are instantly converted to a functioning and beneficent Ecosystem model, regardless of any service provider's willingness or ability to participate on an equal footing with their service populations.
Daniel Curley
Daniel Curley joined the development team as HousingWorks emerged with a community research program, prototype code and testing early in 2000. At the time Mr. Curley was the Executive Director of CCA, a human services non-profit providing housing case management, emergency shelter and permanent supported special needs housing to the Metro Boston area. He brought management, human resources, research, and program development expertise to the founding team.
Daniel Curley is an innovator and leader in the field of organizational and leadership development and research. Mr. Curley has operated DJC Consulting for the past thirteen years, providing CEO Coaching, Turn-around Management, Strategic Planning, Organization Assessment and Senior Leadership capacity building. Mr. Curley has held leadership roles in government, non-profit, for-profit organization in the USA and abroad. Along with these efforts Daniel provides cutting edge web based resources focused on affordable housing, client record data recording and reporting across local, state & national systems.
David Kokorowski
David Kokorowski is a physicist turned entrepreneur who has a passion for using technology to improve science education. David is also the co-founder of HousingWorks. While working on his Doctorate, he supplied all the programming and much of the interface for
After obtaining his PhD in experimental atomic physics from MIT, David spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow developing and studying the effectiveness of a prototype online homework system. Based on this work, David joined Effective Educational Technologies (EET) and helped to develop MasteringPhysics--a personalized learning application now available across the higher-ed science curriculum and used by 30% of all US undergraduate science students. EET was acquired by Pearson Education in 2006, where David has continued guiding the expansion and evolution of the Mastering product line as well as helping define the future of Pearson's higher-ed learning technologies.
Patrick Kyazze
Patrick initially came to Housingworks as a network engineer but quickly became the expert in waitlist updating. Updating is perhaps the thorniest issue for low-income landlords: hundreds of hours can be spent repeatedly updating information for applicants who will never move in. Patrick helped plan the scope of the HousingWorks Lottery Services, helped design the Lottery Pricing Sheet, helped design the current iteration of our Centralized Waitlist, and also trained all new staff in waitlist work over the years. He has probably updated more applicant information that any other human being on the planet.
Thuan Nguyen
Thuan first encountered HousingWorks when he moved to Boston in 2015. Thuan historically worked with non-profits that merge sports and mental health services for low-income populations. There he developed a relationship with HousingWorks while working as a Program Director at Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center in Dorchester, MA. He first started working with HousingWorks in 2019 while in the Global Economic Governance program at Luiss University. While in that program, Thuan made HousingWorks the focus of his thesis, which focused on equitable urban planning. After completing his studies, he began serving as our Strategic Consultant, improving workflow operations, client experience, website redesign, team building, with the result that the entire infrastructure of the company is on a more efficient and productive footing. Thuan continues to work part-time with a non-profit that merges sports and mental health services. 
Dan Derman
Dan started working in the HousingWorks office in 2015. After spending several years working with various non-profit organizations in MA and NC, Dan re-joined the HousingWorks team in 2022. His current focus is on accounting and finance, as well as working with housing providers to ensure their vacancies are filled quickly and correctly. Dan's past experience includes working on non-profit program evaluation, health and legal outreach for farmworkers, and labor organizing. In his free time, Dan enjoys spending time with his dog Bonnie and continues working with various farmworker-serving organizations in NC.
John Kraft
John began working at HousingWorks part-time in 2018 while in his undergraduate program, studying Social Thought and Political Economy at UMass Amherst. John later moved to Boston, worked as an activist in various legal and labor organizations, and began his studies in journalism at Emerson College. While at Emerson, John joined the HousingWorks team full-time in 2021.
John’s primary tasks at HousingWorks involve waitlist management, lottery work, and copy-editing. He is occasionally asked to step into a management roll because of his ability to process and manage technical details while simultaneously understanding broad theoretical frameworks – a perspective that is integral to HousingWorks. His first task at HousingWorks was using his activist, journalist, and organizing experiences to rewrite the fundamental white paper that serves as the foundation of HousingWorks’ mission. In his free time, John enjoys photography and searching for vintage records.
Joel Sibley
Joel started working part time for HousingWorks in 2019 as a lottery and waitlist moderator. In addition, he performs data entry and edits training modules for new team members.
Joel completed an undergraduate degree in Botany and Environmental Science with 3 publications in palaeobotanical journals naming and studying a novel species of fossilized plankton. He worked in Denali National Park for the summer of 2021 at an ecotourism lodge. He is a wilderness explorer and is often guiding people of wealth in the federal wilderness to enlist their investment in the preservation and protection of the few remaining truly wild areas.
He has been an avid outdoorsman his entire life and believes access to outdoor spaces is a necessity of life, not a selective quality. His work with HousingWorks reflects his passion of housing rights and each human’s quality of life.
He currently works remotely from Western Mass, with plans to pursue higher degrees in the biological and ecological sciences. He chooses to believe he has a green thumb thanks to the myriad agricultural courses he took. His work with HousingWorks has reshaped the way he views the world and the people who live in it.
Jon Costa
Jon joined the HousingWorks team as an intern from Emmanuel College in 2022. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Management and now works full-time for HousingWorks in a variety of capacities including data entry, bookkeeping, and systems re-design. Jon has had a great impact since joining our team contributing his dedication and positivity daily to the workplace. Typical of other HousingWorks employees, Jon has a past history of volunteerism, working with local clothing drives and animal shelters. Jon enjoys rowing, soccer, collecting vinyl and discovering new genres of music.



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