Law Center for Better Housing’s Rentervention project received the Wintrust Chicago Neighbor Award, which celebrates innovations that are solving challenges experienced by Chicago’s neighborhoods and its residents, at the 22nd annual Chicago Innovation Awards.
The winners were announced at this year’s event held on Nov. 16 at the UIC Forum. The annual Chicago Innovation Awards is the Chicago region’s foremost recognition of innovative products or services brought to market each year.
The Law Center for Better Housing (LCBH) is the only legal aid organization focused solely on housing justice issues. Rentervention uses generative AI to help Chicago renters understand their rights and address problems with their landlords. Renny, Rentervention’s chatbot, asks simple questions to diagnose a renter’s legal issue, determine the appropriate solution and provide information about their rights. Renny helps renters draft letters to their landlords or escalates a renter to the Rentervention Helpdesk, where they are paired with an attorney to give brief advice. By combining innovative technology with human support, Rentervention has helped more than 50,000 renters since 2019.
Rentervention is one of many innovative programs LCBH uses to support renters before and after an eviction is filed. Inside eviction court, LCBH leads the 3-year Right to Counsel Pilot Program, where eligible Chicago renters can seek brief advice or extended representation by a legal aid attorney.
“The Chicago region continues to be a global leader in innovation,” Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago Journalist Dan Miller of the awards said. “The 2023 winners are solving unmet needs and making a difference in healthcare, science, logistics, art, food and beverage, consumer products, environment, industrial, energy, education, finance, manufacturing, social services, legal, HR and workforce development.”
“We are incredibly grateful to receive the Chicago Innovation Award for the Law Center for Better Housing’s Rentervention Project. This recognition highlights the importance of legal support for tenants facing various housing challenges, emphasizing our impact in Chicago and our reach throughout Illinois. Rentervention reinforces our commitment to advocate for the rights and well-being of renters in every community we serve,” Conor Malloy, LCBH Rentervention director, said.
The winning organizations receive a variety of honors including the opportunity to ring the Nasdaq Bell in New York City. “Nearly 350 organizations were nominated for this year’s awards,” said Luke Tanen, president and CEO of Chicago Innovation. “As a group, these nominees are responsible for generating over $3.8 billion in new revenues and creating over 10,000 jobs. The winners represent the best from this very impressive group.”
The complete list of this year’s Chicago Innovation Award winners can be found at www.chicagoinnovation.com.
Chicago Innovation is supported by over fifty sponsors, including Diamond Sponsors Wintrust, Accenture, Molex, Lessen formerly SMS Assist and Gold Sponsor Comcast Business.