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With the housing crisis proliferating throughout California,many experts are proposing solutions, from more development togrants to design solutions. According to JerryCohen of AppFolio, technology shouldcertainly be part of the conversation. Affordable housing is amongthe most challenging properties to manage, and the efficiencycreated through technology could make it a more attractive assetclass.

"Affordable housing programs are incredibly important and aresome of the most complex types of properties to manage. Affordablehousing programs come with a stringent set of regulations that mustbe adhered to by property owners and operators—it's an entirelydifferent beast from conventional residential housing, requiring agreat deal more compliance with local and federal guidelines.Luckily, modern technology gives property managers more visibilityand transparency when it comes to operations across theiraffordable housing program portfolios," Cohen, lead project managerof affordable housing at AppFolio, tells "It helpsthem to stay compliant with regulations and facilitates bettercommunication, cross-sites. The leasing process, alone, whichalready has many moving parts, is ten times as difficult tonavigate for affordable housing units."

Technology has a wide-range of benefits that make it especiallyappealing to affordable housing operators, according to Cohen."Technology helps expedite some of this, for example, automatingparts of the leasing process, like generating incomecertifications, doing income calculations, tracking set asides," hesays. "Unlike general residential housing, the bar to verifyapplicant information is much higher and comes with significantcost overhead (third party verification of income and assets,affidavits, credit history, criminal background check). That's whyhaving the aid of technology to guide some parts of the process isa game-changer for property managers and operators."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.