Chhaya Community Development Corporation became a HomeKeeper participating organization in Fall 2018, using housing counseling features to complete their reporting requirements for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD).
The organization operates in Queens, New York, home to the fastest-growing South Asian population in the country. Chhaya empowers this community through counseling, advocacy, and more. Lead HomeKeeper users at Chhaya include Yangchen Chadotsang, Housing Preservation Manager, and Will Spisak, Program Director.
The housing counseling clients at Chhaya speak over 20 languages, including many not tracked by HUD, such as Burmese and Laotian. Staff are able to provide assistance in the language the client is most comfortable with, which builds trust and encourages their success. With a growing program, and staff that were still learning to use HomeKeeper, Chhaya was looking for ways to simplify their process.
In early 2019, HomeKeeper approached Chhaya about an opportunity to create an online form to automate the intake process for their 1-1 housing counseling. This project was funded by a grant from Wells Fargo, and implemented in May 2019.
HomeKeeper spoke to Chhaya staff Will and Yangchen about their experience with this project:
How has the form been used so far?
Counselors can now sit with clients and speak with them directly their preferred language, while counselors are completing data entry on the spot. We had a few hiccups, but we worked around them. Using the form has really increased our productivity and helped us complete intake faster.
Can you share how the it has saved time or come in handy during counseling?
The tool really enhanced the ability of our counselors to conduct intakes and increase efficiency in the counseling process. Shortly after onboarding the form, Chhaya hosted our annual Homebuyer Fair. The fair brought in over 800 families interested in becoming first time homebuyers. The following month, 200 families returned to join a homebuyer workshop and receive counseling. The form helped up manage the heavy case load, and onboard more clients than ever into the homebuyer program.
What is something you learned from working on this project?
Always ask questions! Chhaya wanted to be able to indicate whether the counseling was eligible for HUD reporting at the time of intake with the online form. Based on prior internal testing, HomeKeeper staff cautioned this may encounter errors . Luckily, Chhaya insisted on giving it a try, and DaizyLogik was able to produce a solution that worked without error, which result in cleaner HomeKeeper data entry, and saved time for staff.
Consultant DaizyLogik completed the technical development. DaizyLogik utilized Form Assembly technology previously proven successful for HomeKeeper homeownership users.
Consultant DaizyLogik commented on the project:
The online 1-1 counseling intake form DaizyLogik implemented for Chhaya brought together usability and functionality. This was accomplished by breaking up the data entry into several steps and organizing the information in a logical way which allows counselors to input data efficiently and without having to understand the underlying structure and lingo of the Salesforce and HomeKeeper systems. In terms of functionality, the form makes use of logic that allows it to store data in the right structures, creating new records where needed, linking them together to ensure data integrity and leveraging functionality already built into HomeKeeper.
As noted in the May 2019 “Leaders in Housing Counseling” webinar (National Housing Resource Center), Chhaya is the only HUD-approved housing counseling agency in the nation with the cultural and linguistic capacity to serve the South Asian community. The HomeKeeper team is so glad that we could support their work in this small way.
Interested in learning more about the HomeKeeper online form template for 1-1 housing counseling? Contact HomeKeeper today.