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Urban Planning & Housing

American Housing Survey
The American Housing Survey (AHS) collects data on the Nation's housing, including apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers. National data are collected in odd numbered years, and data for each of 47 selected Metropolitan Areas are collected currently about every six years. The national sample covers an average 55,000 housing units. Each metropolitan area sample covers 4,100 or more housing units.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a policy organization working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.  The Center's housing work focuses primarily on federal programs that help the lowest income households afford rental housing.

Easy to use - enter your zip, city, state, etc. and data is presented from multiple data sources.  The site currently contains data from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses (demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (home mortgage applications and loans), Section 8 Expiring Use database (neighborhood- and property-level data on federally assisted housing at risk of loss), and Consolidated Plan special tabulations (data on housing needs by household income level). The site not only assembles a variety of data sets from multiple sources, but it also provides tools and guides to assist you in analyzing, interpreting, and applying the data.

Economic Research Service Profile of America
The Economic Research Service is a primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and conduct research, analyze food and commodity markets, produce policy studies, and develop economic and statistical indicators.  Profiles of America currently contains about 100 variables related to the socioeconomic status of the population and settlement patterns within the United States from 1990 to 2003. All data are derived from four main sources: the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Have searchable interface.

Every day, a wealth of local information is created — officials inspect restaurants, journalists cover fires and Web users post photographs.  EveryBlock collects all of the news and civic goings-on that have happened recently in 11 cities: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, DC. On each site, you can type in any address to read local news and public information near you. Gathers various city data like building permits, crimes, and restaurant inspections as well as new from major newspapers, community weeklies, TV and radio news stations, local specialty publications and local blogs. Everything is classified by geography. 

Healthy Development Measure Tool
The Healthy Development Measurement Tool is a comprehensive evaluation metric to consider health needs in urban development plans and projects.  The HDMT explicitly connects public health to urban development planning in efforts to achieve a higher quality social and physical environment that advances health.   Created by the  San Francisco Department of Public Health, Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability( that is committed to assessing urban environmental conditions and responding to health inequities and environmental policy gaps using health impact assessment methods. is an online guide to state and local housing policy developed and maintained by the Center for Housing Policy , the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference. The purpose of is to collect and provide examples of proven solutions for expanding the availability of homes for working families and others in your community. The site includes easily accessible information on a broad range of state and local policy tools, as well as guidance on how to put them together to form a comprehensive and effective housing strategy. While geared to state and local decision-makers, is written and designed for use by visitors of all backgrounds and experience levels.

HUD USER Policy Development and Research Information Services
PD&R performs policy analysis, research, surveys, studies, and evaluations; both short- and long-term; to help the Secretary and other principal staff make informed decisions on HUD policies, programs, and budget and legislative proposals. These activities provide the Department and the nation with current information on housing needs, market conditions, and HUD programs, as well as research on important housing and community development issues.  Datasets include fair market rents, assisted and subsidized housing programs, American Housing Survey, property owner surveys, state of the cities data, and more.  Full list of their datasets with descriptions:

The Joint Center for Housing Studies
The Joint Center for Housing Studies is Harvard University's center for information and research on housing in the United States. The Joint Center analyzes the dynamic relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic, and social trends, providing leaders in government, business, and the non-profit sector with the knowledge needed to develop effective policies and strategies.  Published report the State of the Nation's Housing 2008:   Also, for a list of other universities and institutions that do housing research, see

Loss of Assisted Housing by State
National Housing Trust has a state by state record of loss of Public Housing. The Trust plays a leading role in providing information about the federally assisted rental housing stock so that policymakers and community advocates can know where affordable housing is at risk and which properties should be targeted for preservation.

National Association of Home Builders- Housing Industry Data
The National Association of Home Builders, a trade association, provides relevant data on the construction industry, including data on housing starts, permits, and completions, which includes single-family, multifamily, and total. Timely data on sales, prices, building materials prices, and interest rates are available. State and metro area data on housing permits and employment are also provided

National Low Income Housing Coalition
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.  Has various research and publications on housing issues on their website.

Right to the City
Right to the City is a national alliance of membership-based organizations and allies organizing to build a united response to gentrification and displacement in our cities.  Their goal is to build a national urban movement for housing, education, health, racial justice and democracy.  Website includes current news, reports movement resources and analysis on housing issues from around the country.

Rural Housing Data Portal
The Rural Housing Data Portal was developed by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC).  Searchable by states, it provides data on the population, income and poverty, home mortgages, housing units and unemployment for rural areas.  HAC, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit corporation that supports the development of rural low-income housing nationwide.

State Health Data is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states. provides data on more than 500 health topics.

US Census Housing Data
Data from the American Community Survey and 2000 Census.  Includes data on the number of housing units and characteristics of housing such as occupancy status, tenure, vacancy, race of householder, age of householder, year built, vacancy, number of rooms and bedrooms, and available telephone service.  Complete list of all Census Housing data is here:


Healthy City is an online community service and policy research tool for all of Los Angeles County. Healthy City provides unprecedented access to the largest database of community resources and localized demographic and health data on a cutting-edge GIS mapping platform. allows social service providers to be instantly connected to thousands of services and resources throughout the region and community leaders and policy makers to instantly view the demographic, economic, and health status of a community, and to evaluate how resources are distributed to address their community's needs. 


The Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse
The Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse (FHDC) was founded in 2000 to provide public access to data on Florida's housing needs and supply, subsidized rental housing, and household demographics. Sources of the data available from FHDC include the U.S. Census, other federal population and housing surveys, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, local housing finance authorities, Public Housing Agencies, the Florida Association of Realtors, the Florida Department of Revenue, the Florida Agency of Workforce Innovation, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida.


Washington Center for Real Estate Research
Quarterly information on housing markets for Washington State and each county. Topics covered include: Housing Resales, Home Prices, Building Permits, and Housing Affordability.   A summary table is posted six weeks after the end of a quarter. Other tables are posted 6 weeks after that. You can extract data into a PDF table or Excel file by using the "Build Your Own Report" feature.  Also has results of semi-annual surveys of apartment vacancies and rents (market rate) in apartment projects with at least five units (20 in the Seattle area). Data covers 17 markets (18 counties) throughout the state. Covered markets represent over 90 percent of market-rate apartments.


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