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The team from HUD will giving an overview of their data sets and APIs on Saturday morning during breakfast. They will talk about how to access the data, where to go to ask questions and general tips and tricks. Come with your questions!
Subject Matter Experts from the supporting organizations (including HUD, Zillow, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, etc.) will be monitoring the site and helping to provide answers in real-time throughout the course of the weekend.
Additionally, the repository of questions that are compiled will help the API providers improve the data sets and Developer Tools in the future.
Camille SThe 21st century has brought troves of previously unavailable or difficult-to-access housing data into the light, in large part thanks to companies like Zillow seeking to empower consumers with data. At the same time, the federal government, through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has enacted dozens of programs aimed at helping Americans of all stripes find and qualify for housing that is safe, accessible, affordable and convenient to job opportunities and cultural attractions.
But making this data and these programs simply available is not enough. Increasingly, many Americans -- particularly seniors, low-income renters and first-time buyers -- need help translating this data. Essentially, the people HUD and companies like Zillow serve face a daunting task: Finding a home that suits their needs.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages into retirement, the demand for living situations that meet the particular needs of older Americans is steadily increasing. Older Americans want to live in their homes and communities safely, comfortably and independently, regardless of decreased mobility, changing healthcare needs and other challenges.
HUD also subsidizes rent and utility costs for many lower-income families so that they can attain safe, decent housing. But matching eligible tenants with accepting landlords is a perennial challenge – neither, it seems, has a central place to start looking for one another. The biggest barrier to “leasing up” for assisted families is finding a unit that is affordable given the housing assistance payment standards in their area.
Finally, first-time homebuyers need help not only finding homes within their budget, but narrowing down their financing options, finding out if they qualify for federal or local aid, and navigating the complex web of forms, regulations and commitments that come with buying a home. Transitioning these Americans from rental housing into homeownership is critical to the continued health of the housing market.
All these groups have a common need: Simple, consumer-friendly solutions to narrow their options, find available units, and connect with service providers. And they need to be able to find and use these tools, because the most beautiful site or most effective app is no good if no one knows they exist.
As you dig into these problems, the following questions should help guide your thinking and frame your conversations. But this is not a comprehensive list, and you should not feel limited to answering only these questions or addressing only these problems.