EZHouz helps people to search for good affordable housing in a great neighborhood, as well as assists these applicants to keep their spots in waiting lists.
Our Project on the Internet
We were challenged to participate in TPL Hackathon 2016, a great hacking event hosted by Toronto Public Library in collaboration with Civic Tech Toronto, Social Planning Toronto, Open Data Institute Toronto. There, we would do a prototype for poverty reduction in Toronto.
Selecting 10 potential ideas in a brainstorm, based on the official Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy document, we saw that waiting lists are big, the process can be more than 10 years, and applicants can be removed from the list easily.
The websites where people can apply for housing uses old technologies and its instructions are hard to understand.
Meanwhile, we found comments like that:
Itís [her home] your sanctuary, a safe space. You should be proud of your living situation.
A better housing choice can lead people to be proud of their home.
The unit was infected with red ants [Ö] I had to re-register, and I have been on the waiting list again since 2012.
Applicants should choose a great, confortable, and hassle-free housing.
We can help these people!
Our team selected the datasets (open data), and divided responsibilities;
We went to CODE.
After 2 weeks, we presented the project at Toronto Reference Library.
References on Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy document:
It contains 6 Issue-areas, 17 recommendations, and a set of actions where EZHouz project is based on:
Recommendation: Increase the supply of affordable housing
Action (3.4): Seek opportunities to provide affordable housing in existing or proposed public buildings
Recommendation: Increase service access and availability
Action (4.3): Revise program registration, outreach, and delivery to ensure services are accessible to vulnerable residents
Action (4.7): Ensure that homelessness and housing support services meet the diverse needs of low-income Torontonians