February 1, 2019
Fairfax County Hackathon Tackles Affordable Housing Challenges
Fairfax County held a housing hackathon on Jan. 24-25, 2019.The event was designed to find innovative technology solutions for accessible, affordable and fair housing, especially linking older adults, millennials and people with disabilities to housing.
Hackers focused specifically on problem statements that addressed matching individuals with disabilities with available affordable, accessible housing units throughout the County, and matching senior residents looking to remain in their homes with younger residents looking for more affordable housing options.
There were 70 participants, mentors and observers who registered for the event. Three teams competed for cash prizes which were awarded to first, second and third place winners, plus a prize for a student team. One team, Team HouseGuides, presented two solutions.
The first place winner of the Hackathon went to the Housing.gov Team made up of the following members: Mahsa Foruhandeh, Peter Nicewicz, Tolani Oyefule, Perry Publico, Nathaniel Root, and Marc Sorenson. They developed a user-friendly website that would allow users to be matched with affordable accessible housing options in the public, private, and non-profit sector based on the user specific needs. The platform would serve as a one-stop shop for finding and applying for available housing options.
This hackathon is only the second hackathon to be hosted by Fairfax County and it addressed two strategies adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2018 as part of Phase 1 of the Communtywide Housing Strategic Plan. Those two strategies are to Expand Access to Housing Option for Persons with Special Needs and to Support Aging in Place. We are thrilled that our partners in the County Executive’s office chose affordable housing as the theme for this event and we were amazed by the hackers’ incredible solutions.