This site contains information from January 2009-December 2014. Click HERE to go the CURRENT website.
Syndicate content

Blog Category: HUD

Hack Housing Spurs Private Sector Innovation through Open Data

Hack Housing Spurs Private Sector Innovation through Open Data (Photo Credit: Zillow)

Guest blog post by Shula Markland, Senior Data Architect, Office of the Chief Information Office, HUD and Jeff Meisel, Presidential Innovation Fellow, U.S. Census Bureau 

On February 6-8, over 200 software developers, designers and makers gathered at the Zillow headquarters in downtown Seattle for “Hack Housing”, a hackathon co-hosted by Zillow and the University of Washington. Teams of programmers spent the weekend using open data to build apps that help people find affordable, accessible places to live – and pitching their products in competition for a $10,000 top prize. Zillow Co-Founder Rich Barton, former White House Deputy CTO Nick Sinai, and Lisa Wolters from the Seattle Housing Authority kicked off the event on Friday. The 72-hour jam session also featured an inspiring video message from Nani Coloretti, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Zillow uses open data from multiple federal agencies including HUD, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Census Bureau, to deliver insights and information on housing, schools, and communities as part of their living database of more than 110 million homes. 

“The Hack Housing event is a blueprint for how government can use our valuable open data assets to help bring private sector innovation to tackle key policy challenges, such as helping seniors age in their homes and connecting low income renters and first time home buyers to housing opportunities,” according to Lynn Overmann, Deputy Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce. “Bringing together thought-leaders from industry, academia and local, state, and federal government can generate really compelling product ideas to help solve some of our most difficult housing issues and also drive economic impact.” 

The teams at Hack Housing focused on user-centered design to address the needs of specific sets of users, including first-time homebuyers, older Americans and lower-income families. The White House, U.S. Department of Commerce, HUD, Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Census Bureau supported the event by providing know-how and open datasets. 

Secretaries Locke and Donovan Tour Nashville, Memphis Flood-Damaged Areas

Locke with residentsAt the request of President Barack Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan toured areas affected by the recent flooding in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., today. The secretaries assessed the damage, talked to residents and discussed long-term recovery plans with local elected officials and community leaders. The secretaries toured the impacted areas and held brief press availabilities in each city.