From March 6-12, 2018, our team of five Georgetown University students bonded and hacked away at the first-ever hackathon hosted by the Vatican, VHacks. In just 36 hours, we dreamed up, researched, designed, and coded our project, Credit/Ability--and it won first place in the Refugee and Migrant Resettlement category!
Refugees and migrants with some ability to earn income often still cannot access housing because of insufficient proof of financial credibility. Credit/Ability is a website platform that they can use to build verified financial credibility scores with the limited fianncial histories (e.g., informal employment, government subsidies, remittences, travel loans, and recommendations from locals, service providers, or employers) in their new host countries. Once they have their scores, with the help of organizational partners like Catholic Charities and refugee resettlement organizations, we aim to provide housing lease guarentees that make them more credible as tenants and bridge the gap to housing access.
It consists of separate web interfaces for the three key stakeholders: a mobile app for refugees and migrants to upload their information, get it verified, receive a score, and apply for housing lease guarantees; a website interface for organizational backers to process lease guarantee applications and view our month-by-month risk assessment model for repayment probability; and online profile pages landlords can use to view credibility information for potential tenants.
We're continuing to work on the project with Georgedown's Human Development Program and are seeking organizational partners to help us develop and pilot it in one or two European (or possibly US) cities. See our executive summary and deck below.