HousingSearchNW.org is a free, online property-search service that links people with the available housing in our communities. We hope HousingSearchNW.org helps you make more informed decisions about your housing options.
HousingSearchNW.org uses software created by Socialserve.com, a national nonprofit provider of housing locator services. Socialserve.com maintains the website and a toll-free call center to assist landlords and people seeking housing. Online services are always available, 24/7. The call center is open Monday - Friday, 6:00 am - 5:00 pm PST and offers assistance in both English and Spanish. In addition to searchable, real-time, detailed listings of available housing, the site also provides helpful tools, such as a rent checklist and affordability calculator, and links to other helpful resources.
HousingSearchNW.org, which initially only served King County, was originally sponsored by the City of Seattle, King County, United Way of King County, Seattle Housing Authority and King County Housing Authority. A Steering Committee - which included these five organizations plus the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound and the Tenants Union - helped to develop the HousingSearchNW.org and provided oversight for the first year of service. HousingSearchNW.org has proven to be a vital resource in King County, and the opportunity to expand statewide presented itself towards the end of 2012.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Commerce were both researching housing locator services beginning in early 2012. While separate market research was being conducted, both agencies reached the same conclusion around the same time: the proven effectiveness of Socialserve.com in both online tools and call center support were an excellent match for our need to create and maintain a comprehensive list of affordable housing opportunities for low-income individuals in Washington state.
Commerce began researching housing locator services because HB 2048 was signed into law on March 29, 2012, directing local governments to maintain and update a list of interested landlords, including buildings with fewer than 50 units, in order to efficiently and cost-effectively provide housing to very low-income and homeless households.
While expanding our pool of independent, affordable housing options for DSHS clients, Aging & Disability Services Administration (ADSA), through the Roads to Community Living (RCL) demonstration project, also identified the need for a statewide housing locator service. This dovetails perfectly with the needs of the Department of Commerce. In addition, ADSA identified the need to make a system available to track real-time openings in our residential settings, which Socialserve.com provides. All partners are excited to collaborate and help connect Washingtonians with the housing they need through HousingSearchNW.org.