FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2021
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
The National Fair Housing Alliance’s Tech Equity Team Wins at Open Data for Good Grand Challenge
Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)’s Tech Equity Team recently competed in the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge, building an application to streamline the process for distributing emergency rental assistance to low-income families impacted by COVID-19. This week, NFHA’s “Frontdoor” application was among the winners in the Health and COVID-19 category and was awarded a $20,000 prize. Michael Akinwumi, PhD, NFHA’s Chief Tech Equity Officer, released the following statement:
“NFHA’s Tech Equity Initiative (TEI) is a multi-pronged effort designed to eliminate bias and discrimination in algorithmic systems including statistical models, machine learning systems, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. From applying for a job to renting an apartment, technology that was built to make life easier often increases inequity and limits access to economic opportunities, sometimes unintentionally.
“We’re pleased that our ‘Frontdoor’ application was recognized by the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge for the work it can do to connect users to emergency rental assistance in under 10 minutes. The COVID-19 pandemic financially burdened millions of families in our nation, and it can be difficult to navigate the resources available to those in need. Using publicly available data, ‘Frontdoor’ seeks to streamline this process and ensure no family misses out on aid they are qualified to receive.
“NFHA thanks the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge for recognizing the importance of the ‘Frontdoor’ application. We look forward to launching the application for consumer use in the months to come and, with the help of funding from well-meaning sponsors, scaling the application to other areas in which people seek assistance finding housing-related resources.”
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.