There’s An App For That . . . Really?!?

Warning: This is a rant!


If you know me, you know that I LOVE technology.  I use my iPad and iPhone every single day and take them everywhere.  They serve as my alarm clock, newspaper, calculator, day timer and more.  I love them and use them more than anyone I know.  I currently have 172 apps.  I truly believe “there’s an app for that”; however, I didn’t realize how stupid some apps (and government agencies) can be!

HUD has spent time and (more importantly) our tax dollars to develop an app so consumers can file complaints against lenders.  Really?  Some things are just easier to do online or by phone.  Apps are used for repetitive things.  Who would want to download and install an app for something that is probably a one-time issue?

They are also very proud of their efforts and have even blogged and issued a press release about their efforts.  In fact, John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity states, “We are maximizing the latest technology to make the process for filing fair housing complaints faster and easier and arming our fair housing partners with the information they need to understand their fair housing rights and responsibilities.”

My sarcastic side (and anger) came to the surface, so I downloaded the app . . . and then used it to file a complaint against HUD.  I told them I thought this was a huge waste of taxpayer money and that HUD has already made it very simple to pick up the phone or go online to file complaints.  I went on to say if someone wanted to file a complaint, it would be more cumbersome and a waste of time to download an app to do so.  I clicked “enter” and my complaint was filed.  I knew my complaint wouldn’t change their behavior and I really thought this would be the end of it.

On March 8th, I received a 2-page letter from HUD indicating they had received my complaint and an inquiry number had been assigned to my submission.  Unfortunately (but understandably), the letter states “The issues described in your claim do not constitute an illegal housing practice as defined by the Fair Housing Act . . . the information you submitted . . . is insufficient to proceed under the law.”  Well, DUH!  Now they’ve spent more time and money to send me a letter to tell me my complaint was not valid.

David Dickinson

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