2017 Impact Report

Page 26


HomeKeeper: Building a Data-Driven Sector Spreadsheets and more spreadsheets. For One Roof Community Housing in Minnesota, this traditional method of managing the organization’s large amounts of affordable housing information simply wasn’t working. “We had a number of different Excel spreadsheets that individual employees would keep up on their own that pertained to their own needs,” said Julie Petrusha, the housing development coordinator for One Roof Community Housing. “We’d spend an enormous amount of time trying to track and locate data.” They knew there had to be a better way. That’s when they found HomeKeeper. With this powerful web-based tool, One Roof Community Housing can now track their data and manage their complex housing information all in one place. No more complicated spreadsheets. The tool also allowed them to create meaningful and custom reports with a few simple steps. “When I printed the first report and showed it to our finance director she was thrilled, indicating it was the best and most precise information that we have ever had in one report,” Petrusha said.

A Bottom-Up Solution One Roof Community Housing’s data management challenge is a familiar problem. Across the nation, non-profits and local governments that manage affordable home ownership programs struggle with how to efficiently manage data and produce quality reports on the impact of their hard work, without further burdening already over-worked staffs. HomeKeeper, a program of Grounded Solutions Network, offers an innovative solution this age-old problem. Built in the cloud on the popular Salesforce.com platform, HomeKeeper is a web-based application that helps affordable homeownership programs track, manage and report on housing data. HomeKeeper improves efficiencies


and effectiveness for community land trusts, Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and other organizations that are creating and monitoring homes with ongoing affordability restrictions. The real beauty of the HomeKeeper, said Tiffany Eng, program director for HomeKeeper, is that the solution was built from the bottom up with direct input from the people who use it. “Together with our partners, we designed and built HomeKeeper from the ground up in response to what the sector needed and wanted,” Eng said. “We didn’t set out to build a software product, we were trying to solve real problems, while at the same time, help programs use evidence to better understand what works.”

We didn’t set out to build a software product, we were trying to solve real problems, while at the same time, help programs use evidence to better understand what works. — Tiffany Eng, Grounded Solutions Network

Making Jobs Easier and Programs Better HomeKeeper is designed around the daily workflow of a homeownership program administrator. The cloudbased app can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device to capture and manage valuable data on homes, homeowners, loans and grants, transactions and more. Users can instantly pull from this data to not only help run their daily operations, but also to measure and report on their progress and impact in the community.

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