The project

Homeless and lower-income tenants looking for a place to rent in Santa Monica face a complicated and often frustrating process which rarely leads to their finding a place to live. Beyond a general lack of available housing in the city, the system is overly complex and difficult to navigate: there are a variety of routes and programs available to different tenants in different situations, application requirements can vary from one landlord to the next and going through local housing agencies is not always a guarantee for a simpler process.

The goal of this project will be to outline key potential solutions (including the use of existing technological tools) to improve the outcomes of the housing application process for homeless and low-income tenants, while also improving their experience and that of landlords providing rental properties.

By helping Santa Monica Housing Division simplify and accelerate the subsidized housing application process, we hope to create more opportunities for potential tenants. Not only would they be able to find housing faster, but our work could also potentially encourage more landlords to offer their properties for rental through the City of Santa Monica’s subsidized housing program, thereby providing more housing options to homeless and low-income tenants looking for housing in Santa Monica.

Fellows Marie-Aimée Brajeux and Maile Malin plan to use a delivery-driven and user-centered approach to improve access to affordable and subsidized housing in Santa Monica for people experiencing homelessness, low-income families, and people with disabilities entitling them to subsidized housing. Along the way, they will build capacity within the Santa Monica Housing Authority and forge a strong, long-lasting relationship between the City of Santa Monica our Hack for LA Brigade, leading to other civic tech projects improving the delivery of government services in the area.

The team

Maile Malin Maile Malin

Community Fellow

Maile Malin is a UX Designer and Hack for LA Brigade member, assisting with research and design. A tireless advocate of user needs, she is extremely passionate about understanding human experiences through research in order to create engaging and intuitive products. She is motivated by an innate desire to help people, inspire happiness, and innovate. Maile holds a BA in Human Geography (the analog version of UX) and a BS in Interaction Design. She was honored to have had her conceptual student product, ALEYE, shortlisted in the 2018 IxDA Awards among professional and existing products.

Marie-Aimée Brajeux Marie-Aimée Brajeux

Community Fellow

Marie-Aimée Brajeux is a consultant and analyst for social purpose organizations, with a passion for amplifying the voices of under-served communities. In Los Angeles, her focus has been on the issue of homelessness, working with local government and non-profit organizations to find innovative solutions to help tackle this crisis. She received her Ph.D. in Criminal Law and Legal Theory from Queen Mary University in London and has over 10 years’ teaching and facilitation experience. She is a Brigade and core team member of Hack for LA, helping to forge new project partnerships for the organization.

The Code for America Community Fellowship

Code for America’s Community Fellowship pairs local talent from our Brigade Network with city governments to improve services for vulnerable people they serve.

It bridges the talent gap in the tech and public service sectors by giving government staff the experience of working with technologists, and technologists the experience of working in government jobs.

The Fellowship ultimately strengthens the relationship between local Network leaders and their governments—to create conditions where change can “stick” and help transform government from the inside out.

The Community Fellowship is part of the
Talent Initiative at Code for America.