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UWL and Microsoft Windows partner to tackle London’s affordable housing issue

The Microsoft Windows Insider Program partnered with programmers and creatives at the University of West London (UWL) to show the world that, together, they can help change the world.  

The partnership’s purpose is to develop a mobile app solution, Home Chaser, which would crowd source buildings in London sitting empty when they could serve as affordable housing.

#WINsiders4Good Create-A-Thon, an event to bring together creative and technical minds from London and beyond to help with the development of the app, was hosted by UWL’s School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) earlier this month, organised by The Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace student Club (ATAL).

Home Chaser aims at allowing London explorers to identify vacant residential and commercial buildings to be transformed into affordable housing. The app will crowd source important information on vacant buildings which, at the moment, are not registered; building searches currently take place in an ad hoc manner or if the building owners wish to engage. This will help organisations such as Dot Dot Dot Property, a social enterprise and property guardian company, who secure buildings and ensure their protection as they sit empty; providing a home at a third of the market rate.

The #WINsiders4Good Create-A-Thon was also attended by academics, students, and recent graduates of SCE and helped make progress not only on technical issues but also regarding marketing and the business aspects of creating and maintaining an app.

Soheil Emadiazar, ATAL Club president said,

‘It was good to meet new people and to learn what we can achieve in a short period of time. This event was the first of a series of programming-related events organised by the Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace club and there will be more of such exciting opportunities for our students in the future.’

Professor Thomas Roth-Berghofer, Head of Research and Enterprise of SCE said,

‘I am proud of the student club to bring such an opportunity for our students to UWL, and I am thankful to Microsoft for sponsoring this event. It is great to see young people engaging with the pressing problems of our time and working together for a better society; not for money but for the greater good.’

Find out more about the School of Computing and Engineering, or follow @UWL_SCE.