MTO’s New Mobile Phone App Coming Soon

Last updated: September 19, 2013 – 6:49 AM

Did you know that we’re going to revolutionize Chicago’s rental market with a new mobile phone app? It’s true! Our app, Squared Away, will help tenants like you solve a repair issue or problem with your landlord in the quickest, most effective way possible. Refrigerator not working? Bed bugs in your apartment? Have a question about your lease? There’s an app for that!

Rather watch than read? Check out a video detailing our new project by clicking HERE!

Thanks to a generous grant from the MacArthur Foundation, and support from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, our mobile phone app, along with our new call center interface, will be integrated with a brand new database that will provide renter families with guidance and resources as to how to handle different situations that arise during the rental process. It will help renters to prevent, identify and remedy common housing problems and communicate with policy makers and each other. With our open source tools, our renters’ app will serve as a national platform to build awareness of renters’ housing options and the Equal Voice Campaign, thus promoting an end goal of a robust, growing, informed, active tenant movement!

Why an app? The app will benefit low-income renters because their main access to the Internet is through mobile devices. In 2010, the Pew Research Center conducted a study of wireless users. The survey found that 46 percent of households earning less than $30,000 a year are wireless Internet users. That lowest income group surveyed was the fastest growing – up by 11 percentage points from 35 percent in April 2009. An estimated 54 percent of African-Americans and 53 percent of English-speaking Hispanics access the Internet on a handheld device. The thousands of renters who use MTO’s website prove the need for web-based rental housing information. The Pew study demonstrates the need for an app or internet access that is compatible with mobile phones. The MTO renters’ app will help to bridge the Internet divide for low-income renters. MTO believes that a mobile phone app will provide a key vehicle with which to communicate and promote the vision, goals and strategies of the organization! It will also serve as a mouthpiece for the family led Equal Voice Campaign. We hope you will join us on this exciting mission!

MTO’s Digital Integration Project | | Coming Fall 2013

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