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Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester: Creating a Homeowner Information Database

Project Overview

Our project created a database for Habitat for Humanity MW/GW to organize information on their homeowners. We collected input on the database structure through interviews with the staff and feedback from testing the database. We delivered a Microsoft Access database to track data on homeowners, properties, and mortgages. We found that: Habitat Affiliates across Massachusetts use different software but organize information similarly; it is difficult to standardize database fields for every unique homeowner; and creating a database is an iterative process. Based on our findings, we recommend Habitat for Humanity MW/GW continue improving upon this tool by adding more data topics like repair history and editing the homeowner application to guarantee smooth data entry.

Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester

Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester (Habitat MW/GW) is a the local branch of Habitat for Humanity that serves 42 cities and town in the MetroWest and Greater Worcester areas. Since their start in 1985, they have provided affordable housing for 52 families, helped repair many local homes, and have created two ReStore locations to aid progress to their goal of affordable housing for all. The ReStores have also helped to divert over 700 tons of waste from landfills.

Student Researchers

Charlie Kneissl-Williams – I am a junior Computer Science major with a concentration in cybersecurity. I am from Bedford, New Hampshire, and volunteered with other non profits in that area throughout high school. On the WPI campus, I am a member of the SFS program, Cybersecurity Club, and WiCys. I have experience working with databases through various courses, such as the Software Engineering hospital app, the Database Systems 1 assignments, and the nutrition tracking app my team created for Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing.

Lauren Waddick – I am a junior majoring in Interactive Media and Game Development wanting to work with 3D programs in the future. I have experience using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite as well as programs like ZBrush, Maya, Substance Painter, Unity Engine, CAD and Sketchup. I enjoy drawing, playing video games, and taking my dogs for walks. I grew up in Waltham Massachusetts and have access to a car should we need to travel anywhere during the project. I am self-motivated and enjoy learning and developing my skills and knowledge. I hope to improve my oral presentation skills as I can struggle with public speaking. 

Jackson Neu – I am a junior Aerospace Engineering major with an interest in space travel and exploration. I have experience with some programming languages including Matlab and Python, and SolidWorks CAD experience. I am from Westchester New York, and enjoy hiking, Video Games, and engineering. At school I am part of the High Power Rocketry Club, and am a tutor at the ARC. I am good at logical thinking and am a fast learner. I hope to improve my research skills and communication.

Alessia Kodhimaj – I am a junior Mechanical Engineering student with an interest in mechanical design and manufacturing. I am an international student from Albania and have extensive experience with volunteering projects during my high school years. I raised funds and gathered nearly 50 people to help after an earthquake hit our country and also gathered nearly 500 signatures for a petition for the government to make an online public record of sexual abusers. I have also volunteered for Red Cross Albania and participated in projects that helped the environment and animals. Here at WPI, I have worked on projects that included showcasing my skills in SOLIDWORKS, and other skills such as cooperation, leadership, and organization. I am also a PLA for the introduction to CAD class. In my free time, I like to exercise and socialize. My strengths are that I am detail oriented, organized, creative, and my weaknesses are perfectionism, procrastination, and that I prefer to follow instructions exactly. I am however always trying to improve myself.

Project Goal and Objectives

Project Goal: The goal of this project was to increase the ease of accessibility of homeowner information (address, mortgage, legal information, etc.) to save Habitat for Humanity MW/GW workers’ time and energy by creating a centralized database with all relevant and related information and automatically entering data into the database through forms and filling PDF text fields with entries in the database.


– Assessed the current system used by Habitat and organized the information.

– Researched other Habitat for Humanity branches to see if they have different systems.

– Developed and implemented a new database system.

– Provided documentation and tutorials on how to use the system.

Final Report and Deliverables

Our final deliverables were the database, the documentation and tutorials for the database, and the final report. Due to the private information shown in the database, and tutorials, they could not be made public.

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