Minor Renovations on the PolicyMap Housing Menu

If you are a regular PolicyMap user, you may have noticed some recent changes to the ‘Housing’ menu in the site as a result of some housekeeping and tidying that we did at the end of the summer.

Tenure and Affordability

The previous ‘Housing’ tab menu included both a ‘Homeowners’ and a ‘Renters’ bold header.  Under each of these headers were data related to homeowner/renter characteristics as well as affordability and cost burdens for each group. In the updated ‘Housing’ tab menu, homeowner/renter characteristics have been grouped together under a new bold header of ‘Housing Tenure.’ “Tenure” is a term used to describe the relationship of household residents to the home where they reside – essentially identifying whether a home is renter or owner occupied.  Affordability and cost burden selections for both homeowners and renters are consolidated under a new bold header of ‘Affordability’.

Former Housing Menu
Former Housing Menu
Current Housing Menu
Current Housing Menu









Some Data Removed, Some Data Added

In an effort to swap some outdated datasets with fresh new data, we did remove residential and business vacancy data from USPS and HUD from the ‘Vacancy’ section. 2010Q3 was the last quarter for which this data was free and available to the public, and as such this was the most recent time frame previously available in PolicyMap.  After 2010Q3, this data was no longer free and was only available at a cost to select entities. PolicyMap currently licenses residential and business vacancy data from Valassis Lists, a third-party vendor of the data.  This data is available to PolicyMap subscribers. Homeowner and renter cost burden data from the 2000 Decennial Census were also removed from the ‘Housing’ tab. The cost burden indicators from the 2010-14 ACS are still available in PolicyMap. The 2000 datasets have seen very little use in the last year.


Removing some older datasets and rearranging the menu allowed us to add some interesting new data to the ‘Housing’ tab in PolicyMap. New data from the USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) can be found under the ‘Additional Housing Data’ bold header.  This data shows the count of rural single family housing loans administered by the USDA – both direct loans and guaranteed loans. The data is aggregated to the county and congressional district and also includes indicators for loan amounts and borrower characteristics. Two point datasets from USDA RHS are also now available on the ‘Housing’ tab – multifamily properties and multifamily properties in the guaranteed loan program.



  Percent of USDA Guaranteed Loans Made to First-Time Homebuyers

As always, if you have any questions about these changes or would like to share feedback with us, feel free to contact us at info@policymap.com.