National Housing Trust
When COVID-19 really began taking hold and “stay at home” orders were in place, National Housing Trust was faced with a whole new set of communication challenges.
National Housing Trust is an affordable housing developer with housing across 13 States and the District of Columbia. Their mission is to “preserve, protect and improve the existing affordable housing stock in the US, in high opportunity neighborhoods for low-income families.” They believe that regardless of their income, the success of families starts at the community level. Selena Duvivier, Resident Services VISTA, stated that it is their goal “to ensure that residents are not only informed about different programs, resources and opportunities available to them in their communities, but also reduce the barriers and challenges to accessing those resources, and opportunities.”
When COVID-19 really began taking hold and “stay at home” orders were in place, National Housing Trust was faced with a whole new set of communication challenges. The pandemic hit their residents hard. Resident management consists primarily of face to face interaction, and low-income communities have a prominent digital divide. According to Duvivier, their biggest challenges were making the transition to virtual contact, realizing their contact lists were out of date and trying to support their residents during a difficult time.
A property manager at NHT had been using Notifii Connect and had become a strong advocate for the software. She gave access to other staff members who became fans of the platform as well. They found that Connect was more efficient for their communication than their previous service. With the high volume of residents, Notifii Connect became a vital part of operations because they could now streamline their communication and make it accessible for everyone.
Once NHT started using the communication platform on a wide scale, they found that their biggest challenges became much easier to resolve. Duvivier said, “It was awesome that we started using Notifii when we did because it helped us organize contact lists into one software and database, it also allowed the coordinators and the property managers to dual tackle the issues that were impacting our specific communities, and not repeat the same process.”
Either employee could text or email a resident and the other employee would be able to check Notifii Connect and see that the touchpoint had already been made, improving communications amongst team members. NHT was able to utilize the platform’s features to improve external communications as well. One key example cited by Duvivier was that they found that residents who were only getting texts wanted more information and would voluntarily send their email addresses.
Resident Services VISTA, National Housing Trust
For the foreseeable future we are in a virtual world, and that has changed the way that property managers and resident coordinators can maintain relationships with their residents. Duvivier noted, “Once we started using Notifii, we were updating contact lists, reaching out to residents and ensuring that they had everything they needed to ride the wave of the pandemic”. Notifii Connect is a cloud-based solution that can be implemented in a community in less than a day and can be accessed via a desktop browser or mobile app. Notifii Connect has allowed NHT to continue with their monthly wellness checks by having two-way communication, which has led to more personal and frequent conversations with their residents.
- Transitioning out of face to face interaction with residents
- Having outdated contact lists
- Reducing barriers to accessible resources for residents
- Updated contact lists
- Personal and frequent communication with residents
- Support for residents during an unprecedented time