Newsletter: December 2023

Four team members high five


PolicyMap closes $3MM Series A Financing Round

We are thrilled to announce the successful close of a $3MM Series A financing round, led by existing investor Reinvestment Fund and joined by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Spring Point Partners LLC, PolicyMap Board Members, employees, and our incredible friends and family.

This strategic investment will fuel our expansion and help us better serve and empower decision-makers in diverse markets across the country!

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PolicyMap Office

Introducing PolicyMap’s Fresh Faces

Meet the stellar additions who joined PolicyMap in 2023 and stay tuned for more opportunities to work with us in 2024.

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man on bench

Where Elderly Americans Struggle to Find Affordable Housing

As home prices surge and rents increase, growing parts of the country have become unaffordable for renters. Cities around the country are devising new strategies to create more affordable housing opportunities to combat the escalating housing crisis and rising homelessness among seniors. Current data shows us why.

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boy at water fountain

Lead Exposure Risk in Your Neighborhood

Nearly a decade after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, lead contamination remains a nationwide issue. To help concerned residents, public health officials, and local organizations identify neighborhoods that might be at a higher risk of exposure to lead, we added an up-to-date Lead Exposure Risk Index to show estimated exposure at the census tract level.

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woman holding receipt

Where do people impacted by new SNAP work requirements live?

The new, recently signed, debt ceiling legislation places new work requirements on SNAP recipients aged 49 to 54. Some researchers estimate that the change in the age requirements for food assistance could impact approximately 750,000 adults across the U.S. Can data help us figure out where most of the people who will be impacted by the new work requirement live?

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boy on phone

Disconnected Youth: a Geographic View into the Youth Mental Health Crisis

Young people in America are facing a mental health crisis. To help organizations and researchers digging deeper into this alarming trend, PolicyMap added indicators from the Census ACS related to Disconnected Youth that show the estimated percent of people 16 to 19 years old who were not enrolled in school and were unemployed or not in the labor force.

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PolicyMap SDoH wheel

PolicyMap Launches Collection of Social Determinants of Health Data

The new Curated Collection simplifies the collection of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) data through a comprehensive database of the non-medical factors influencing health outcomes and risks. Interoperable and standardized, the collection includes indicators for Life Expectancy and Mortality, Health and Healthcare Landscape, Infrastructure and Built Environment, Community and Social Context, Food and Nutrition, Education, Healthy Assets and Opportunities, Financial Stability, and Environmental Hazards. Wherever possible, our data is disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and age.

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Housing construction

Improving Health Outcomes by Investing in Affordable Housing

Health and healthcare organizations seeking to improve health outcomes while reducing costs are prioritizing investments in Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). With new nonprofit location data from Candid now available in PolicyMap, finding local nonprofits with whom to partner in neighborhoods across the country has never been easier.

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When It Comes to Home Sale Data Look Local and Dig Deeper

National home sale data indicates that while the number of people buying homes has dropped due to high mortgage interest rates, median home sale prices nationally have not been declining at the same rates. Cities and towns across the United States are experiencing different versions of this story which is why going local when it comes to home sale trends is crucial.

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Flooded Street

Mapping the Interplay of Flood Risks, Population Density, and Property Values in Southern Florida

The 2023 FEMA Flood Maps are now updated on PolicyMap. The Flood Zone Designations provides an in-depth risk analysis of flood hazard zones and serve as a poignant reminder of the escalating threats faced by numerous regions across the state. With this update, PolicyMap’s subscribers gain access to a wealth of insights that possess the power to shape strategies, policies, and proactive responses to the pressing challenges at hand.

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man with briefcase

Explore Employment Statistics & Workforce Indicators with LEHD Data on PolicyMap

PolicyMap is thrilled to announce the update of the Census’ Longitudinal Employer–Household Dynamics (LEHD) data. LEHD is a groundbreaking program at the Census that partners with states to collect data on employment, wages, and Unemployment Insurance and combines these with federal administrative, Census, and survey data.

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Tracking Economic Rebound After COVID-19 with Vacancy Data

Despite office occupancy reaching its highest level since the pandemic’s onset in the first quarter of this year, reports of empty office buildings and closed store fronts continue to circulate in newsfeeds.

Dig deeper with PolicyMap’s Business Vacancy data for a more nuanced understanding of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

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for lease sign

Business Vacancy Rates: Digging Deeper Post-Pandemic

Explore business vacancy in PolicyMap’s hometown of Philadelphia. Data from earlier this year show that rates climbed back to pandemic highs. Plus, learn how to investigate business vacancy in your own community.

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woman in library

Going Beyond Census Data: Better Community Analysis For Public Libraries

Reviewing trends in demographic data reveals what local communities look like and how they are changing. State, District, and local libraries rely on data from the U.S. Census Bureau to inform decisions about the distribution of funds and assistance to the locations with the most need. Community stakeholders determine where to build new branches, host programs, and find their most vulnerable patrons based on census data.

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Updated Data

Medical Expenditure Estimates have been updated on PolicyMap to 2020, the most recent year available.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data on residential housing lending has been updated in PolicyMap for the year 2022.

We are committed to our promise of curated, cleaned, standardized, and always updated data. We’re posting real-time updates on our website and Twitter.

In case you missed it

Published Research

Explore scholarly works from students and researchers using PolicyMap.

Neighborhood-Level Social Risk Factors Associated with Presenting Glaucoma Severity at a Tertiary Eye Care Center, a research paper published in ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract.

Unveiling Spatial Associations between COVID-19 Severe Health Index, Racial/Ethnic Composition, and Community Factors in the United States, a research paper published in National Library of Medicine.

Staying Home, Tweeting Hope: Mixed Methods Study of Twitter Sentiment Geographical Index During US Stay-At-Home Orders, a research paper published in National Library of Medicine.

Transition of care from the emergency department to skilled nursing facility: Retrospective case‐control study published in National Library of Medicine.

We’re hiring!

PolicyMap is growing. We currently have an opening for a Data Analyst.

Love PolicyMap? Let us know!

We want to hear from you. Take 2-3 minutes to tell us about your experience using PolicyMap.

To thank you for your time and feedback, we are offering $10 gift cards.

Open PolicyMap Training Sessions

Offered twice a week. Register here.
Level 1: Learning the basics of PolicyMap Level 2: Learn the Data Loader, Multi-Layer Maps, and other Advanced Features

Open to non-subscribers. Course times rotate weekly. Don’t see a time that works for you?
Contact us.

Upcoming Events

Join Us!


January 19–22, 2024
Baltimore, MD

PolicyMap is excited to join The Library Learning Experience for LibLearnX! Stop by to learn about new data, Curated Collections, and many platform enhancements.
Registration information here

2024 NCDA Winter Legislative, Policy, and Professional Development Meeting

January 31 – February 2, 2024
Washington, DC

We’re excited to exhibit at 2024 NCDA Winter Legislative, Policy, and Professional Development Meeting and join local government community development and affordable housing professionals.
Registration information here