Do You Know If Your Apartment is Going to Become Unaffordable?
With rents going up, many tenants are wondering if their apartments are going to become unaffordable. Would it be helpful to know if this problem was coming your way? The winning team at the Zillow HBCU Housing Hackathon targets this problem.
Morehouse College’s Solution
A team of four students from Morehouse College won first place in the Hackathon by creating an app that predicts rising rent or utility expenses at an address over time. By using machine learning, the app predicts the future increases and warns renters about them.
Would a Rent/Utility Predicting App Be Helpful?
According to data from CoreLogic, rents rose 9.3% in August 2021 versus August 2020 in the U.S. As a result, many tenants are facing large rent increases when their leases renew or when they move to a new unit. By looking ahead, the ability to automatically monitor rent increases over the course of the year would minimize surprises and help tenants plan for the future.
Will This Become a Reality?
Zillow currently provides recommended rent rates by address. As a result, it is logical that they add a “rent predicting tool” to their rental listings to improve their service and increase tenant visits to their site.
Time will tell.
About the Zillow Housing Hackathon
The HBCU Housing Hackathon was a seven-day virtual competition to challenge students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to create and pitch to a panel of judges tech solutions “that align with Zillow’s goal to help consumers overcome obstacles on their journey to find a home.”The competition was hosted in collaboration with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Black Tech Ventures (BTV) and Amplify 4 Good.
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