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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 1 | New Public Data Available on USDA Rural Housing Service’s Single-Family and Multifamily Programs


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.

Volume 19, Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

New Public Data Available on USDA Rural Housing Service’s Single-Family and Multifamily Programs

Corianne Payton Scally
Urban Institute

David Lipsetz
U.S. Department of Agriculture (former)

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 for consideration.

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency has released a comprehensive set of public data on its direct and guaranteed loans across its single-family and multifamily housing program areas. These data are available for free download via a periodic release on and available to the public to map along with select public demographic, social, and economic variables compiled and maintained by PolicyMap. This article briefly describes the RHS data available by program area, discusses the challenges and limitations inherent in the data, and recommends some potential uses for future research on U.S. rural housing.

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