£40,000 competition to help renters with open data

Nesta and the Open Data Institute are offering a cash prize of £40,000 to the team that can devise the best way of using publicly available data to improve the lives of renters.

The Housing Open Data Challenge has been launched today at the HouseParty Unconference in Manchester. The Challenge invites businesses, startups, social enterprises and community groups to collaborate and compete with each other to answer the question, "How can we use open data to help people get the best out of renting?"

Applications open on 24th June and close on Friday 29th August. Successful teams will then be invited to start to build and test their ideas at a creation weekend on 20th and 21st September where three teams of finalists will be chosen to win £5000 each. After further developing their ideas during an incubation phase, one finalist will be chosen to win a potential £40,000 prize. The winning project will be the one which can combine open data into products or services with a clear social impact and a sustainable ongoing model.

Generation Rent Director Alex Hilton is the Challenge Champion for the Housing Open Data Challenge. He says:

“Britain’s growing population of renters – now about 40% of the population – have a range of problems homeowners rarely experience. They seldom have control over the conditions in which they live and have little choice over the quality of their landlord. They also have challenges with security of tenure, mobility and in many cases affordability.

“So far the housing market treats property as an investment when, for most people, it’s simply their home. This £40k Challenge prize aims to inspire data and housing experts to create new products and tools that help renters overcome some of the hurdles that they face. I’m really excited to see what the entrants will come up with.”

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