Social housing app brings a touch of ‘Tinder’ to house swaps and wins £40,000 open data innovation prize
A new smartphone app, MoveMaker, has won the Housing Open Data Challenge. It lets social housing tenants swipe through a list of properties available to swap and connects them with home matches.
Run by Nesta and the ODI, the Housing Open Data Challenge invited entrants to use publicly available data to create apps that help tenants get the most out of renting. Viridian Housing, the team behind MoveMaker, will now use the £40,000 prize money to develop the app and accompanying website ready for public launch in 2015.
MoveMaker works by letting users view social housing properties where the current tenant is looking to swap.1 Unlike existing web tools, MoveMaker uses open data to score each property on the user’s criteria - including location, proximity to amenities and the quality of those services such as school Ofsted ratings and GP satisfaction scores.2 In addition, MoveMaker is unique as users are only able to connect with each other if they both like each other’s properties, reducing wasted contact and frustrations.
Just six per cent of social housing moves are swaps.3 MoveMaker aims to help grow the number of swaps to aid the two million people currently living in the wrong size social housing to either down- or up-size. The MoveMaker process was piloted in South West London over a year, where it enabled three times more moves than the previous year, cut waiting times to two months from two years and reduced the number of tenants in arrears.
MoveMaker was unveiled as the winner of the Housing Open Data Challenge after a Creation Weekend that saw three finalists pitch to a panel of judges that included Shelter’s Head of Research Shannon Harvey and HACT chief executive Matt Leach. The finalists had each received £5,000 and three months business support to help shape and grow their ideas. You can read more about the Housing Challenge and the finalists here.
Ed Parkes, programme manager for the Open Data Challenge Series, comments: “MoveMaker is a great example of the real life application of open data in a credible digital product. With the Government last week committing to opening up more data from the Land Registry, it would be great to see many more tools that help tenants and property owners in 2015.”
Ed Wallace, MoveMaker team lead at Viridian Housing, adds: “We are thrilled to have won the Housing Open Data Challenge Prize. Since the team came up with the idea we have been really excited by its potential to achieve great things. MoveMaker will make it really, really easy for more social housing tenants to swap their homes. We also hope it will inspire the wider sector to think about how digital innovation and open data can transform the way we deliver services.
Social housing providers interested in trialling the app for free are invited to contact the MoveMaker team at Viridian Housing.
For more information contact Laura Scarrott at Nesta on 0207 438 2697/ [email protected]
1. Most social housing tenants are allowed to swap their homes; known as a mutual exchange. When households agree to swap, their social housing provider carry out the paperwork to make this happen. Home-swaps alleviate overcrowding and under occupation in the social housing sector.
2. The open data used by MoveMaker is: Ofsted reports for Primary Schools and Secondary Schools, NHS GP surgery data, CQC hospital data, Department for Transport train station and bus stop information, DWP job density data.
3. Calculated by the MoveMaker team and combining the number of local authority mutual exchanges (Department for Communities and Local Government, Local Authority Housing Statistics dataset, England 2012-13) with housing association mutual exchanges (Homes and Communities Agency, statistical data return, 2012-13) and viewing them as a percentage of new lets within the social housing sector (Core lettings data 2012-13).
Open Data Challenge Series: The Housing Open Data Challenge forms part of the Open Data Challenge Series which is led by Nesta and the ODI. The series is intended to support the development of innovative solutions to social challenges using open data. For each of the seven themed challenges, projects will compete for a potential £40,000 grand prize. Winning projects will be those with the best solution which combines open data expertise with a credible plan and market. For more information on the Open Data Challenge Series which is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills visit: http://www.nesta.org.uk/project/open-data-challenge-series
About Nesta: (www.nesta.org.uk) is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833
About the ODI: The Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, Limited by Guarantee company. It has secured £10 million over five years via the UK innovation agency, InnovateUK, $750,000 from global philanthropic investor Omidyar Network, and is working towards long-term sustainability through match funding and direct revenue.
About Viridian: Viridian Housing is a charitable association founded in 1945. Viridian owns and manage more than 16,000 homes, in the Midlands, West Sussex and London. Their mission is to provide high quality, good value housing for mixed income communities with a vision of: Quality homes for you to make the most of your life.
The MoveMaker team sit within the Research and Innovation team at Viridian Housing. The team was set-up 2 years ago to help Viridian rethink its approach to service delivery. Their work initially focused on developing Viridian’s social impact agenda, but increasingly they are looking at how they can help to transform Viridian’s core services. MoveMaker was created by Ed Wallace, Alice Granville, Isabelle Champion and Jo Salter.