Landecker Fellow Kazmyn Ramos launches the website of her Action Project titled “Seeking 1610.” Seeking 1610 is a nonprofit organization with the goal of improving access to affordable housing by simplifying the housing search process.
What makes the housing search so hard? If you have a limited income, finding rentals that fit your budget takes a long time. If you have a housing choice voucher it’s even more difficult. States often have an online database for affordable housing seekers to use, but they lack user friendly design and accessible user interfaces. In addition, they often don’t include up to date information. This is why affordable housing seekers often use word of mouth or sites that aren’t tailored to them for searching. Seeking 1610 was created to be sensitive to the experience of affordable housing seekers.
The Seeking 1610 website includes a quick and easy form where rental seekers can enter information about where they’d like to live, how many bedrooms they need, and whether they have barriers that prevent them from being approved for housing. Those barriers could include being formerly incarcerated or having an eviction on their record. These barriers tend to be experienced by people of color and often exacerbate racial inequities. This is because a lack of safe and stable housing can increase the chances of recidivism and increase the likelihood of housing cost burden.
Seeking 1610 needs others to join the movement to increase affordable housing access through improved searching.
Kazmyn is one of thirty 2021-2022 Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.