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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Housing Open Data Challenge winning app matches open data to user need

The winner of our Housing Open Data Challenge is a team from Viridian Housing who have developed an app called MoveMaker. The app helps people living in social housing swap their properties. As the winner of the Challenge, the team take away £40,000 to help further develop and launch the app. There is a short explanation of how the product works in this introductory video.

The MoveMaker team have incorporated a range of open datasets into an intuitive search and match making function to make the process of finding suitable properties easier. MoveMaker includes open data on location, proximity to amenities and the quality local services such as schools, GPs and hospitals, to give a sense of whether the property on offer is right for you. Much like dating apps, only when two tenants have matched each others’ properties do they then get to chat through the app to discuss.

Social impacts

The app will make the process of finding and managing a social housing swap much easier - and ensure people get the most out of renting. The ability for social housing tenants to swap their home has been available for some time and people enter into these for much the same reason that anyone else moves - changing family circumstances, to move to be nearer to a job or your children’s school. In addition, social tenants also have the motivating factor of recent changes which mean that any spare bedrooms are subject to reductions in housing benefit. MoveMaker aims to grow the number of swaps to aid the 2 million people currently living in the wrong sized social housing to up- or down-size.

The team behind the MoveMaker are committed to delivering improvements in wellbeing and finances for their tenants, whilst helping Viridian rethink its approach to service delivery. With MoveMaker, the team want to make the process of house swapping significantly more open and straight-forward.

Runners up

The competition was close for the winning slot with competition from the team developing OpenJamJar, a service which help tenants in the private sector who are receiving housing benefit budget for their rent, and RentSquare, who are developing an open data powered platform which calculates optimal prices for renting to connect tenants and landlord.

The Housing Open Data Challenge is one of a series of seven Challenges being run by Nesta and the Open Data Institute to showcase how open data can be used for social good. To find out more about the Open Data Challenge Series, sign up to our newsletter.

Photo Credit: Lydia via Flickr CC



Ed Parkes

Ed Parkes

Ed Parkes

Senior Programme Manager

Ed worked in the Innovation Lab in Nesta, as the Senior Programme Manager for the Open Data Challenge Series, which was run in partnership with the Open Data Institute.

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