“One of the reasons we came to PolicyMap was because their platform was trying to accomplish many of the same goals as our index, pulling a lot of data sources into one place, and making it available for people that want to use statistics without having to know statistical programming and coding.” Michael Spotts, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing
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The Terwilliger Center for Housing, part of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), strives to advance best practices in residential development and public policy by creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income households.

In 2019, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Michael Spotts, joined the Terwilliger Center for Housing to develop the 2020 Home Attainability Index, a resource designed to support municipalities and members of the development community working to address long standing home affordability challenges.

In developing the Index, the Terwilliger Center hoped to provide a detailed look at regional housing needs and provide context for housing market data. Rather than provide a standardized score for each location, he and his team worked to identify and compile an array of metrics that provided a foundation for a nuanced analysis of specific housing needs and enabled national and regional comparisons to inform housing production, policy, and financing decisions.


To expand and streamline data collection for the 2021 Home Attainability Index, the Terwilliger Center accessed and licensed data through PolicyMap.

But as they prepared to tackle the 2022 report, Spotts and his team knew they needed additional statistical computing support. Delays in the release of the 2020 census data meant that more computing needed to be done in less time. Spotts relied on PolicyMap’s Analysis and Insights Services team to provide guidance on methodology for calculating indexes and custom index calculations.

In addition, the Terwilliger Center team worked with PolicyMap to make the research tool more accessible to a wider audience. Leveraging PolicyMap’s publishing tools to create an enhanced geospatial visualization of core index data. The interactive and intuitive mapping tool allows users to explore metrics for over 100 metropolitan statistical areas without GIS or coding knowledge.

Interested in learning more about the 2022 Home Attainability Index? Watch Michael Spotts present the updates made to this year’s Index as well as key findings from the latest data.

Interested in learning more about PolicyMap’s data services? Contact us.