Articles

Bloomington, Ind., Seeks $10,000 Prize to Further RentRocket Development

The city and its partners are one of four finalists for a competition hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aimed at improving affordability and sustainability of rental properties.

by Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind. / July 19, 2016
RentRocket color-codes properties by the cost of their utilities. (RentRocket)

(TNS) -- Bloomington, Ind., and partner cities across the country have a chance to win $10,000 for a proposal aimed at improving affordability and sustainability of rental properties.

The city and its partners are one of four finalists for the Climate CoLab Buildings 2016 competition, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

They’ve made it that far based on development of RentRocket.org, which currently is in a prototype form, and would use the prize to continue website development.

“This project is aimed at changing the way the rental market works,” said Jacqui Bauer, the city’s sustainability coordinator, in a news release. “Renters often have to make housing decisions without information on the cost of utilities, transportation access and other factors. RentRocket will help fill that gap.”

Voting will continue through the end of July, with the most popular proposal (determined by online voting) winning the $10,000 prize. There will also be a “Judges’ Prize,” also for $10,000, awarded by a team of MIT-based judges. The Judges’ Prize will be based on feasibility, innovation and the potential for the proposal to make a significant impact.

Partner cities include Ann Arbor, Michigan; Burlington, Vermont; and several other university communities. Launchpad Solutions, based in Bloomington, is spearheading the next-phase development of the site.

To vote, visit tinyurl.com/RentRocket2016 and sign in before casting your vote. To share information about your rental for inclusion on the site, both landlords and tenants can email sustain@bloomington.in.gov.

©2016 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.