In Knoxville, 24.3% of the population lives in poverty (U.S. Census, 2019.) Populations struggling with utility cutoffs and eviction were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because data was disseminated across many different organizations and government bodies, it was difficult to understand where evictions and utility cut offs were currently happening and where they would happen next.
Knoxville needed a centralized viewpoint to help the city and community partners in coordinating aid and communicating with each other, providing context, exchanging insight, and problem solving.
Delivery Associates and the city team identified data that serves as an early indicator of evictions and shut-offs as well as where that data was housed. Once the data’s location and owners were identified, the team worked to share and automate data from seven different sources. This information was then compiled into one dashboard that was used to predict the prevalence and locations of shut-offs and evictions to support policy-makers in proactively prioritizing assistance programs for targeted populations.
The dashboard was also used to quickly identify changes over time to assess trends and respond effectively and verify that policies are working and understand where and when to intervene when they are not.
Furthermore, because partners from 19 organizations and relevant city agencies have access to the dashboard and its communication features, they are collaborating to share and analyze data with the city for the first time and can discuss actions directly in the tool.
In addition to the dashboard, the team also developed a website for housing assistance to connect residents with social assistance programs. This public facing website also has data visualizations to increase transparency by providing information on the community needs and program impacts. As a result of this website, more Knoxville residents are aware of programs that can assist them and know they are not alone in facing difficulties with housing and utilities.
Their team was effective and dedicated to helping our community. The tools and insights brought to the project have helped make a real difference for our residents and those who serve them.