Viridian Housing has reached the final round of innovation charity Nesta’s ‘Housing Open Data Challenge’ with its ‘Housing Tinder’ app. Inspired by the US dating app Tinder, which connects mobile users with the Facebook profiles of likely romantic partners within a given radius, Viridian’s app is intended to make it easier for tenants to arrange mutual exchanges.
Nesta teamed up with the Open Data Institute to launch an open data challenge (using information that’s publically available), focused on the theme of housing. It posed the question: ‘How can we use open data to help people get the best out of renting?’
Following an intensive ‘Creation Weekend’ in September, where selected teams had the chance to work with developers to build and test early mock-ups of their ideas, Housing Tinder was made a finalist and awarded £5,000 plus expert support to develop the idea and build an early-stage version of the app. The winner of Nesta’s £40,000 grand prize will be announced in December.
Once fully developed, ‘Housing Tinder’ will make it easier for tenants wanting to swap their rented property to find more suitable accommodation in areas they want to live. The app will give tenants the option to search for properties and get in touch with people about potential moves, all through a few taps on their mobile phone.
Ed Wallace, Research & Innovation Manager, Viridian Housing, said, “We knew from the work we’re doing to speed up housing transfers that some websites offering home swaps for social housing tenants aren’t particularly accessible or user friendly, that people generally don’t want to move far, and that even the early stages of helping someone consider a move can take up a lot of time and resources.
“We wanted to develop a service that would take away all the hassle for our tenants and literally hand them all the information and convenience they need to find the move that’s right for them. The hard work starts here and we would be interested in talking to other housing providers about the idea to make sure it’s right not only for our tenants, but theirs as well.”