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Bernard Chester

1013 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Chris Metcalf , Bernard Chester 1013 days ago
Chris M Event Results
Thank you everybody for an awesome event, we had a great time and the outcomes were incredible!
If you haven't read it yet, we got written up in GeekWire!
  • Winners
Chris M
  •  Photos borrowed from GeekWire, hopefully they don't mind. :)
First Place: "Make the Smart Move" by SpaceLab
Bernard C
The application allows the user to enter a series of locations, along with how often they visit each of them. For most people, work will be the most frequent one. However, people have more complex needs. A user may be taking care of an elderly loved one, participating in an education program, or doing volunteer work or community services. By allowing an arbitrary number of locations, we get a more nuanced picture of the user's lifestyle.
The app then computes a polygon based on those locations representing the optimal area where that user could live to be close to their commitments. There are placeholders to gather more information about government programs they may qualify for and their income, and to use these factors to make suggestions of available assistance programs.
Second Place: "Push to Rent"
  • @ksadasivam - Full Stack Engineer, hacker, works @Microsoft
  • @nparashuram - developer, serial hacker, midnight dog walker
  • @HVerespej - Full Stack Engineer, Growth Hacker @MadronaVentures, Former @Microsoft
  • @jonathangags - Biz Dev Entrepreneur, AdTech Accounts Lead, Startup Aficionado, former Mortgage Consultant @Bank of America
Push to Rent is an application that gives renters at the lowest income levels to be able to apply for and find housing in one easy to use environment.
Renters simply go to the Push to Rent Desktop or Mobile Website and create an account which also serves as the only application they need to complete. In one place, renters input their applicant information such as Name, Email, Phone Number, Address, Social Security Number, Monthly Income, Name of Employer; all the information needed when applying for a rental property. This information is immediately verified through credit checks, background checks, and employment verification, and Push to Rent provides a list of rental properties which fit the needs of the prospective tenants.
Through an algorithm, we are able to establish a ranking of best properties, color coating by green, yellow, and red, and in addition having a number score. This score takes into account public housing qualifications, Section 8 Voucher qualifications, ability to pay, proximity to employment, and transportation need.
Third Place: "Zillow Wheeler" by Cellphane
Wheeler brings wheelchair accessibility information forward. It's a version of Zillow optimized for the needs of people who use wheelchairs to get around. As it grows, Wheeler will push property owners to talk openly about compliance to ADA standards.
  • Links to the Project Pages
Chris M
1016 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Chris Metcalf , Bernard Chester 1016 days ago
Camille S Hack Housing: Empowering Smarter Decisions – A Weekend Hackathon
Chris M
  • Hello! This document is a Hackpad, and can be collaboratively edited by all participants. Found an issue that needs to be fixed, or a resource we should have added? Sign in and you can fix it yourself! Thanks - The Management
Date: February 6-8th, 2015
Key Links
Chris M Schedule
  • Friday, February 6th - Day 1
  • 6PM – Kick off event registration opens
  • 6:30PM – Welcome and intro (Zillow & UW)
  • 6:40PM – Fireside chat with Rich Barton, Zillow co-founder and Nick Sinai, former U.S. Deputy CTO at the White House
  • 7PM – Overview of housing problems by the Seattle Housing Authority 
  • 7:15PM – Networking and team formation
  • Saturday, February 7th - Day 2
  • 8AM – Breakfast served & coding begins 
  • 9AM - Technical demo of HUD data sets and APIs 
  • 12PM – Lunch served
  • 6PM – Dinner served
  • 12AM (midnight) – Coding at office concludes
  • Sunday, February 8th - Day 3
  • 8AM – Breakfast served & coding resumes. Begin preparing final presentations
  • 12PM – Lunch served
  • 2PM - Product presentations and live demos begin (limited to 3 minutes per team) 
  • 3PM – Q&A from panel of judges
  • 3:30PM – Winning teams and prizes announced
Schedule is subject to change, and changes will be announced at the event.
Data Catalogs
Several data catalogs have been provided for this event by our data partners:
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  • The team from HUD will giving an overview of their data sets and APIs on Saturday morning during breakfast. They will talk about how to access the data, where to go to ask questions and general tips and tricks. Come with your questions! 
Chris M
  • Socrata is providing data from a number of different sources for this event. All Socrata data sets are available via easy-to-learn Socrata Open Data APIs and also as CSV, JSON, or XML:
Camille S
Chris M
  • Quality ratings for doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes, provided by data.medicare.gov
  • Data about spending on medicare procedures from data.cms.gov
We've also marked up the candidate problems below with data sets we believe may be useful to satisfy those challenges. Found some of your own? Edit this Hackpad and add them!
Camille S Open Data StackExchange - Official Q&A Site for Developers Attending Hack Housing 
  • Subject Matter Experts from the supporting organizations (including HUD, Zillow, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, etc.) will be monitoring the site and helping to provide answers in real-time throughout the course of the weekend.
  • Additionally, the repository of questions that are compiled will help the API providers improve the data sets and Developer Tools in the future.
Chris M Candidate Problems
Camille S The 21st century has brought troves of previously unavailable or difficult-to-access housing data into the light, in large part thanks to companies like Zillow seeking to empower consumers with data. At the same time, the federal government, through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has enacted dozens of programs aimed at helping Americans of all stripes find and qualify for housing that is safe, accessible, affordable and convenient to job opportunities and cultural attractions.
But making this data and these programs simply available is not enough. Increasingly, many Americans -- particularly seniors, low-income renters and first-time buyers -- need help translating this data. Essentially, the people HUD and companies like Zillow serve face a daunting task: Finding a home that suits their needs.
  • As the Baby Boomer generation ages into retirement, the demand for living situations that meet the particular needs of older Americans is steadily increasing.  Older Americans want to live in their homes and communities safely, comfortably and independently, regardless of decreased mobility, changing healthcare needs and other challenges. 
  • HUD also subsidizes rent and utility costs for many lower-income families so that they can attain safe, decent housing. But matching eligible tenants with accepting landlords is a perennial challenge – neither, it seems, has a central place to start looking for one another. The biggest barrier to “leasing up” for assisted families is finding a unit that is affordable given the housing assistance payment standards in their area.
  • Finally, first-time homebuyers need help not only finding homes within their budget, but narrowing down their financing options, finding out if they qualify for federal or local aid, and navigating the complex web of forms, regulations and commitments that come with buying a home. Transitioning these Americans from rental housing into homeownership is critical to the continued health of the housing market.
All these groups have a common need: Simple, consumer-friendly solutions to narrow their options, find available units, and connect with service providers. And they need to be able to find and use these tools, because the most beautiful site or most effective app is no good if no one knows they exist.
As you dig into these problems, the following questions should help guide your thinking and frame your conversations. But this is not a comprehensive list, and you should not feel limited to answering only these questions or addressing only these problems.
Chris M
  • We've annotated the problem statements below with proposed data sets that we believe may help. Found your own? Edit this Hackpad and add them!
  • For senior citizens and recent retirees 
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  • What kind of transit options are available for me in a given community as I age and my mobility decreases? Are those options safe?
Camille S
  • Will I have healthcare options/medical care facilities within a reasonable distance?
  • Should I move out of my home and into a community specifically for seniors? If so, where are these communities and how much do they cost? Do I qualify for assistance in paying to live there? 
  • How can I make sure my existing home or new home is accessible to me and my family as I age? Where are ADA-accessible units located, and do I/will I qualify for them? 
Chris M
  • As housing costs and taxes rise, will I be able to continue living in my home on a fixed income? What options do I have for reducing these costs or supplementing that income? 
Chris M
  • For lower-income renters 
  • Where are the communities that accept my rental voucher? Is there availability in those communities? 
  • Is there a path for me to transition from renting to homeownership? 
  • What are the local assistance limits in my area? Do I qualify for more? 
Chris M
  • What are my rights as a tenant in a low-income community? What questions should I ask my landlord prior to moving in? 
  • Is this community close to jobs and transportation? Will I be able to afford to get to where my job is? 

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