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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.

  • Regulatory Reform and Affordable Housing
  • Volume 23 Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

HUD Crosswalk Files Facilitate Multi-State Census Tract COVID-19 Spatial Analysis

Alexander Din
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Ron Wilson
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. Government.

The coronavirus COVID-19 has infected millions of Americans. Datasets like the national county-level aggregation of COVID-19 case counts that Johns Hopkins University & Medicine assembled have been widely used, but few analyses have been performed at the local level due to the low supply of data. Like many things American, the distribution of COVID-19 data varies due to differing state, county, and local government reporting policies. The result is a patchwork of COVID-19 data at the local level, mostly aggregated to ZIP Codes due to ease of data processing rather than census tracts which are a better geographical unit for analysis. Local level COVID-19 data are rare and often only available for small areas. In this article, we demonstrate how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Crosswalk Files can be used to assemble a census tract-level dataset of COVID-19 case rates in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area across multiple states.

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