HomeKeeper is a managed package app on the Salesforce App Exchange that was built by Grounded Solutions Network, and that standardizes the way affordable housing programs track data, measure outcomes, and implement effective property and homeowner stewardship practices. Participating HomeKeeper organizations seamlessly share social impact data with the HomeKeeper National Data Hub, where data is aggregated and shared across the sector.
Grounded Solutions Network is a national nonprofit membership organization that brings together an extensive network of partners and member practitioners from local communities, all of whom have a deep understanding of best practices in community land trusts, shared equity housing, local housing policies such as inclusionary housing, and more. They promote housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations, so communities can continue to stabilize and strengthen their foundations.
DaizyLogik is a certified Salesforce Partner that works with nonprofits and social enterprises to help them build customized streamlined, easy-to-use Salesforce systems to effectively track their impact and engage with donors, clients, and beneficiaries.
SoPact is a certified Salesforce Partner that works with mission-driven organizations to manage their social impact framework through innovative technology.
Grounded Solutions Network worked with DaizyLogik, SoPact, and an advisory committee of users to help develop HomeKeeper into a HUD compliant CMS. As a sector-wide program management and impact measurement tool, HomeKeeper was well positioned to build on their popular app by expanding the housing counseling features and seeking approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Once made publicly available, HomeKeeper will be an excellent tool for affordable home ownership programs that offer workshops and other housing counseling services.
While other technology systems exist that support the Housing Counseling industry, none of the other HUD approved client management tools have been built on Salesforce. Organizations have been unable to have a consolidated view of their homeownership and housing counseling programs. Frustrated program directors couldn’t easily report on the breadth of their services, the overall demographics of their client base, and the impact of their work across multiple programs.
Grounded Solutions Network knew that it would be no easy task to meet the security requirements for a Salesforce managed package and overcome the hurdles of expanding HomeKeeper to meet HUD’s requirements. As a result, they partnered with two Salesforce Partners, DaizyLogik and SoPact, to help them maneuver through the complexities of this project.
DaizyLogik, the lead development partner for HomeKeeper, was specifically tasked with ensuring that the code and structures behind HomeKeeper supported data collection and processing for HUD submission and fulfilled the requirements of Salesforce’s rigorous vetting process.
Our certified Salesforce software developers at DaizyLogik provided strategic guidance and support while also building out the custom functionality needed to expand HomeKeeper. Specifically, our team conducted extensive discovery on the project, advised on the structure of the expansion, and made recommendations about necessary changes to ensure the data could be successfully submitted.
DaizyLogik designed, built, and implemented a system architecture that separates the core HomeKeeper functionality and the data processing from the submission to HUD. The data processing component extracts the necessary data from HomeKeeper and does complex calculations in preparation for HUD submission. The loosely coupled architecture for the components creates a system that is more robust and reliable. For organizations that do not report their data to HUD, it allows them to focus on the core functionality of HomeKeeper.
SoPact developers, in turn, were able to take the data prepared by DaizyLogik’s data processing component to develop the HUD Connector interface in Salesforce. The HUD Connector assembles and consolidates the required records, such as counselor and client data, that are needed to submit to the HUD’s Housing Counseling System (HCS) to complete the process.
HUD’s HCS is a web-based application accessible to anyone on the Internet through HTTP over Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and through proper authentication using an LDAP server.
The seamless collaboration between Grounded Solutions Network, DaizyLogik, and SoPact, facilitated by a clear delineation between tasks and an architecture based on a loose coupling of components, enabled the HomeKeeper app to quickly and successfully obtain HUD approval. Collectively, all three teams were able to look down the road and anticipate where the project was headed, and worked together to make changes as needed along the way.
THE AGILE METHOD
Grounded Solutions Network, DaizyLogik, and SoPact agreed to use the Agile approach to ensure the project ran smoothly, within budget, and on schedule. Throughout the project, this collaborative approach meant team members were able to quickly respond to changing priorities and new challenges while maintaining a focus on the overall objective. In addition, a quick feedback loop with the advisory committee of HomeKeeper users helped identify priorities and clarify user requirements. The Agile method is in line with DaizyLogik’s project management and software development philosophy.
HOMEKEEPER AS A HUD-APPROVED TOOL
As a result of this work, Housing Counseling organizations are now able to take advantage of HomeKeeper’s new housing counseling features in order to manage counseling cases and group education activities, and easily send HUD 9902 reports to HUD. This will enable HomeKeeper users to more efficiently serve their members and a broader network of housing agencies, and help even more individuals and families work toward homeownership. The new features will also enable users of HomeKeeper to quickly prepare for program audits and produce robust reports and dashboards on their program outcomes.
By utilizing the broad capacity of Salesforce, HomeKeeper users can make better data-driven decisions for their organization. For instance, an Executive Director will have an easily accessible snapshot of all of the housing counseling and homeownership activity in the pipeline. Users will also have easy access to data to more effectively manage their programs, and strengthen Grounded Solutions Network’s ability to better support the sector. Most importantly, users also have the opportunity to configure their HomeKeeper app to meet the needs of their organization, and store their data locally.
Learn more about HomeKeeper and Grounded Solutions Network’s training and support network here: http://myhomekeeper.org/
Contact DaizyLogik to learn more about how we can support you with specialized consulting and custom development and help you get the most out of Salesforce.