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Zillow and UW CSE present “Hack Housing: Empowering Smarter Decisions”

IMG_4678This weekend Zillow and UW CSE – with participation from Socrata, the White House, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – present Hack Housing, a weekend hackathon to develop products and create solutions to aid home buyers and renters with particular needs.

Deep housing data is more accessible than ever thanks to companies like Zillow and federal open data efforts. But this wealth of information remains fragmented across a number of dense .gov websites and can be confusing even for the experts. During this weekend-long hackathon, teams are asked to come up with creative solutions to make it easier for first-time homebuyers, low-income renters and senior citizens to find a home that meets their needs.

IMG_4677As part of the event, participants will have access to newly released government datasets on topics like federal housing programs, apartment buildings with accessory dwelling units and transit information. In addition, Zillow will make available its data on home values and rents.

The event was kicked off on Friday evening by Ed Lazowska (UW CSE), Rich Barton (Zillow co-founder), Stan Humphries (Zillow Chief Economist), and Nick Sinai (Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the former U.S. Deputy CTO at the White House). Judging is Sunday afternoon.

400 people registered for the event. To our astonishment, most of them showed up! Eeeek!

Read a comprehensive GeekWire report on the event here.

Read a US Department of Housing and Urban Development blog post here.