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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Urban Problems and Spatial Methods
  • Volume 17, Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Data Sources for U.S. Housing Research, Part 2: Private Sources, Administrative Records, and Future Directions

Daniel H. Weinberg
Virginia Tech

Data Shop
Data Shop, a department of Cityscape, presents short articles or notes on the uses of data in housing and urban research. Through this department, the Office of Policy Development and Research introduces readers to new and overlooked data sources and to improved techniques in using well-known data. The emphasis is on sources and methods that analysts can use in their own work. Researchers often run into knotty data problems involving data interpretation or manipulation that must be solved before a project can proceed, but they seldom get to focus in detail on the solutions to such problems. If you have an idea for an applied, data-centric note of no more than 3,000 words, please send a one-paragraph abstract to david.a.vandenbroucke@hud.gov for consideration.

This article is the second of a two-part article about data sources for U.S. housing research. The first part, which appeared in the previous issue of Cityscape (Volume 16, Number 3), addressed public sources.

For practitioners and policymakers to make a serious attempt to affect housing policy, they must cite evidence-based research. Part 2 of this article summarizes many of the private sources of housing data for researchers that can provide such evidence. It then summarizes the challenges of using administrative records (AR) and proposes to construct new data sources by marrying survey data with AR and by constructing synthetic databases. The article concludes with a brief discussion of some data issues.


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