Squared Away Chicago Wins 2014 Nonprofit Technology Leadership Award

Last updated: April 3, 2014 – 11:21 AM

UntitledOn Tuesday night at Lumity’s annual dinner and networking event, Lumity and Accenture presented MTO with a $5,000 prize for the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Leadership Award for the development of the Squared Away Chicago App.

Lumity is a Chicago nonprofit consulting organization that annually recognizes innovative nonprofit projects. The 9th Annual Technology Leadership Award (TLA) recognizes and rewards nonprofits demonstrating an innovative use of technology that positively impacts their organization. The runners-up were The Family Institute at Northwestern University and Triple Threat Mentoring. Here is a little bit about each of the three finalists:

Squared Away Chicago is a web based rental app for mobile phones.  The app uses mobile technology to make it easy for renters and landlords to report and follow-up on rental issues. We find that the biggest obstacle facing tenants and landlords is a lack of communication and documentation. The app lets users upload photos and sample template letters to document issues and create a lasting timeline of evidence that’s instantly accessible to the tenant and landlord! Users receive regular tips and best practices on being good tenants/landlords. Our app puts the law in the palm of your hand. Our free web-app is accessible through a URL, no download necessary. Renters can use www.squaredawaychicago.com to:

·Accurately report issues to your landlord

·Document problems with photo evidence

·Track each issue for future follow-up

·Learn about/exercise your rights as a tenant

More than 250 landlords and tenants have already signed up to use the app.  Ali Lueder a tenant in Chicago’s Edgewater community says “Thanks to your site, I felt really informed and confident – and recovered my entire security deposit. Thanks for helping us be aware of our rights!”  We hope others will join the ranks of Chicago tenants who have successfully protected their homes using Squared Away Chicago, and sign up today!

All 3 Comments

  1. the squared away app has been down for the past few days & i think that one of my unresolved issues is going to expire before it comes back up. please let me know if you have any suggestions



    1. Thomas, you can update your issue now, and you can also update an expired issue by opening it and adding any type of update to it.

      Your landlord can not keep your security deposit unless you either 1) agree to have it applied to your debt or 2) they go through the proper withholding procedure outlined in the Illinois Security Deposit return act (The Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance only applies to Chicago residents, but the two are nearly identical). I suggest “escalating” the issue via Squared Away and sending them a security deposit return notice. If you’d like to talk further let me know and we can arrange for a counselor to call you, or you can call anytime after 1PM at 773-292-4988.

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