Newark launched a search engine to help renters find affordable housing

Newark is trying to make it easier for residents to find affordable places to live amid the city’s construction boom.

The city launched a free online search engine last week that allows apartment searchers to enter the range of rent they can pay, the number of bedrooms they need and other criteria to produce an interactive map with matching locations.

The search engine, Newark Housing Search, includes both private and publicly supported properties and all Newark Housing Authority-owned websites.

“I am committed to producing and maintaining affordable housing, so that more individuals and families can establish or strengthen their roots in Newark,” Ras Baraka Mayor said in a statement.

“Part of this job is to make it easier to find the type of housing they need at affordable prices. No matter where I go in Newark, people will approach me and ask for help finding a home they can afford. This housing locator will help fill a gap that has been It has been around for a long time,” the statement said.

Officials say the search engine benefits developers and landlords keen to market their properties to the general public or to certain types of tenants, including veterans, seniors or people with disabilities.

Officials hope the search engine will help Newark residents and others take advantage of the accelerated construction of new downtown apartment towers and smaller construction and rehabilitation projects across the city. At the same time, Newark faces a shortage of affordable housing, and the city has encouraged the development of market-priced housing while making affordable unit construction a requirement for those projects.

For example, this spring, the mayor and council expanded the blanket zoning ordinance to require that 20% of units in apartment buildings of 15 or more be allocated to people with low and middle incomes, after the law previously applied only to buildings low income. 30 units or more.

The new housing search engine includes a basic search function with three criteria: rental range, number of bathrooms, and number of bedrooms. There’s also an advanced option to narrow your search to more specific properties, including housing type, with the 19 menu options ranging from assisted living, to triplex, to joint roommate/housing status, to mobile home park.

Other criteria include smoking or not smoking, distance to mass transportation and the language spoken by the owner.

Users can navigate their search results by clicking on an icon representing each match on the city map, reveal photos, contact number and other information. Or, users can scroll down a column to the right of the screen that contains the same photos and information.

The search engine is supported by the help desk that home seekers operate and can call toll-free from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 877-428-8844.

Sample results page from the NewarkHousingSearch.com search engine launched by the City of Newark to help residents find the housing they need at a price they can afford.Newark

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Steve Strunsky can be reached at [email protected]

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