Request for Proposals – UPDATED February 18, 2014
Proprietary Dynamic Database
RFP Updates in red.

Download a .pdf version of this RFP: 2014 Oak Park Regional Housing Center Database RFP.

Send Proposals to:
Rob Breymaier, Executive Director at rbreymaier@oprhc.org.
Deadline for Submissions is Friday, February 28, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
Deadline for questions clarifying this RFP is Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
Deadline for project completion is September 30, 2014.
We are expecting bids in the area of $10,000 – $15,000.

Submissions Must Include:
Resumes for all staff involved in the project
References from 3 previous clients for similar services
A detailed budget of costs for the project
A timeline and expected completion date for the project

Background
The Oak Park Regional Housing Center is a locally-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are a fair housing organization committed to promoting meaningful and lasting racial diversity in Oak Park and the Chicago region.

The Housing Center is requesting proposals to build a dynamic database for use in our services to provide assistance for apartment and rental housing seekers as well as property owners and managers. The database must track and join multiple primary inputs to allow us to measure a variety of outcomes.

The database is only used by trained Housing Center staff. We did not consider a client interface when drafting the RFP. However, we could see its utility and would entertain an add-on proposal for including a client interface that would collect information and allow 1) clients to register with the Housing Center, and 2) landlords to submit units to the Housing Center.

Some parts of the database would ideally be restricted to certain staff. Logins and passwords for all staff and security levels will be required. Ideally, we would like to use logins to track which staff person is serving which clients as well.

We currently utilize a proprietary database – our Rental Tracking System (RTS). The proposed database will be replacing and improving upon RTS – a Microsoft SQL database using Microsoft Access as a front-end interface. The preferred new format is to use a MySQL database for the back end that can store data remotely and an open source front end that can be used via a web browser. However, it is expected that the consultant will provide us with a list of alternative products and strategies that could serve the purposes of this project, including the technological and economic pros and cons of each. The new database would have its own domain that the Housing Center would purchase after consultation with the consultant.

Our current database has been in use since January 1, 2004 and many records must be imported into the new database. Initial discussions will include pros and cons of the current database, preferences for input and reporting screens, and overall utility of the database. The consultant must be able to import data going back to January 1, 2005. Currently there are approximately 28,000 client records and about 10,000 unit records in the database. Each client has approximately 50 fields of data. Each unit also has approximately 50 fields of data.

Scope
Interviews with key staff to understand the current database, its primary uses, and shortcomings
Create both a back-end (preferably cloud-based) and web-enabled front-end data tracking program
Create a user-friendly data-entry interface based on input and discussion with Housing Center staff
Develop queries and forms templates for reporting
Import data from existing database into new database
Test and debug database using feedback from Housing Center staff
Instruct key staff on the use and maintenance of the system
Confer with the Housing Center’s IT consultant regarding technological maintenance

General Database Parameters

Primary Data Sets/Tables
Clients – those seeking apartment rentals
Property Owners – those providing apartment rentals
Buildings – dwellings with apartments and rentals
Units – actual apartments and rentals within buildings
Staff – Employees who provide services to clients

Additional Data Sets/Tables
For many fields, pull down menus that standardized data are required. i.e. Number of Bedrooms Required, Referral Source, Final Outcome.

Media types
In addition to string and numeric data, we would like the ability to include images (and possibly video) in our database.

Tracking includes
Date, time, and a wide variety of socio-economic data for each Client. Clients may require multiple sessions for each transaction. Clients also often use our service for multiple transactions over many years in which socio-economic data may change. Tracking must be possible for multiple transactions within a single client search and for multiple searches for a single client.

Date, time, and a variety of amenity data for each rental unit listing. Units are often listed multiple times. Tracking must include when a Unit becomes available, when a Unit is rented, when a Unit is provided as a possible rental, when a Unit has been shown to a Client, when a Unit is no longer available. Units are involved in multiple transactions over many years.

Joining must allow for:
Connecting Clients with Units for each transaction made.
Accounting for Staff involved in each transaction with Clients and Units.
Connecting Units with Buildings and Property Owners.
Connecting Clients, Units, and Staff with all Outcomes.

Exporting
All data should be exportable to .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .txt, .dbf, and .pdf formats

Reports/Queries/Forms
Outcomes to be reportable and sortable by time, geography, socioeconomics, and other statistics include:
Client Registrations
Client Moves (variety of factors)
Unit Listings
Unit Close Out (variety of factors)

Flexibility and Adding/Renaming/Removing Fields
We would prefer a function that allows approved lay users to add, rename, and remove fields in both primary and additional data sets if possible.

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