Renter's Rights Guide is an open source web application that informs San Jose renters about the laws and programs in place to protect them.
In December 2016, we formed our team at Code for San Jose, a community of technologists and activists dedicated to solving problems through technology.
Our team of volunteer developers, designers, and researchers were concerned with the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area. We began prototyping and researching. We conducted user research and stakeholder interviews and learned that there is a shortage of affordable housing in the Bay Area; that there is a housing and jobs imbalance, that everyone looks for affordable housing -- from retail workers to teachers to administrators to tech workers, and that it is difficult to find information about affordable housing and navigating tenant issues such as evictions or rent increase. Three personas emerged from the interviews -- homeless individuals, individuals living in precarious situations such as getting evicted, and middle-income individuals who also struggled with finding affordable housing. From this research, we began developing the Renter's Rights Guide, an open source web application built with React and Rails.
In September 2017, we launched the web application for San Jose renters to learn about tenant rights and resources. It featured 3 features: tenant rights, renter’s rights and resources. On the tenant rights page, users can simulate the tenant eviction process in the State of California through an interactive timeline. On the renter’s rights page, users can learn about the four local ordinances that affect San Jose residents and learn which residents are covered by what ordinances.
Recently we conducted usability testing and continued connecting with stakeholders e.g. the City of San Jose Housing Department, to understand how to improve the application. We will work on improving the UI/UX and translating the application.
Funded by San Jose, CA (November 2017)