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In 1978, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) established HUD USER, an information source for housing and community development researchers, academics, policymakers, and the American public.
Background on HUD USER
HUD USER is the primary source of federal government reports, information, and data on housing policy and programs, energy-efficient building technologies, economic and market conditions, affordable housing, sustainable development, urban planning, and other housing-related subjects. Managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), HUD USER publishes a wide variety of well-respected, evidence-based research, and offers a range of useful information, products, and services. Over 900 housing research publications and data sets are available as free downloads at www.HUDUSER.org; most reports are available in print for a nominal fee. The HUD USER Clearinghouse also staffs a toll-free Help Desk Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time; staff are available to address housing research-based inquiries and fulfill publication requests. The Help Desk can be reached at 1-800-245-2691 and via an email link available on the website.
To keep busy housing professionals, advocates, and government decisionmakers informed, HUD USER publishes four periodicals, which are available as free subscriptions: The Edge, Evidence Matters, Cityscape, and U.S. Housing Market Conditions.
- The Edge is an online magazine providing news, a message from the PD&R Assistant Secretary, and a wide range of information on housing and community development issues, regulations, and research. It's delivered via email in alternating weeks, in tandem with HUD PD&R Updates, which focus on a single research report or data set release, as well as announcements of events and opportunities of interest to housing researchers and practitioners. A great way to keep informed.
- Evidence Matters is a quarterly publication that demonstrates HUD’s commitment to evidence-based policymaking by presenting objective, data-driven analysis of major housing and community development issues. Evidence Matters is available electronically or in print, and like all PD&R / HUD USER periodicals, subscriptions are free.
- Cityscape, HUD’s journal of policy development and research, is published three times a year. It focuses on innovative ideas, policies, and programs that show promise in revitalizing cities and regions, renewing their infrastructure, and creating economic opportunities. Back issues available at.
- U.S. Housing Market Conditions is a quarterly report on nationwide housing conditions. It includes historical and regional analysis, in addition to in-depth examinations of selected housing market areas. Download the current and past editions for free.
Main Topics Covered by the HUD USER Website
The HUD USER Clearinghouse and website provides access to in-depth, evidence-based content on a wide range of housing-related subjects, including:
Affordable Housing (includes Public and Assisted Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers/Section 8 & Project-Based Section 8, Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, Affordable Housing & Worst Case Needs Reports to Congress, and related content);
Housing Production and Technology(Building Materials & Methods; Regulation and the Housing Industry; Design; Energy, Environment, and Green; Manufactured Housing; Natural and Man-Made Hazards; & Rehabilitation and Preservation);
Community and Economic Development (Brownfields & Other Environmental Hazards, Community Partnerships, Federally Funded State and Local Programs, and Neighborhood Quality);
Housing Finance (Mortgages and Mortgage Lending, Government Sponsored Enterprise, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and related content);
Housing and Supportive Services for People with Special Needs and the Homeless (Housing for Persons with HIV/AIDS, Disabilities, and Seniors/Elderly; Homelessness; and Fair Housing).
HUD USER provides interested researchers with access to the original data sets generated by PD&R-sponsored data collection efforts, including the American Housing Survey, HUD median family income limits, as well as microdata from research initiatives on topics such as housing discrimination, the HUD-insured multifamily housing stock, and the public housing population. A Data Set Reference Guide is available that includes titles, relevance to various audiences, and links to the content. To quickly and easily locate information on Median Household Incomes, Housing Problems of Low-Income Households, Building Permits, and Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rates in communities throughout the U.S., PD&R / HUD USER also makes available a series of Interactive Thematic Maps.
"Sites within a Site"
In addition to the resources noted above, the HUD USER Clearinghouse is also home to several "microsites"—in effect, smaller, content-specific sections housed within the parent site. These include:
To get the word out about how good ideas are gaining traction at the grassroots level, HUD USER hosts a nicely illustrated Best Practices section. There, visitors will find viable federal, state, and local strategies that increase affordable housing opportunities, apply sustainable features and practices, and increase access to public transportation. The projects featured in these brief Best Practice reports demonstrate innovation achieved through the collaborative efforts of various partnerships and initiatives.
Innovation: e-Bookstore, Social Media & Mobile Apps
The HUD USER Clearinghouse continually explores new and innovative means of content delivery. Among the most significant enhancements introduced in recent years are the HUD USER eBookstore, which provides the most in-demand research reports formatted for most popular e-readers and tablets; staying in touch through Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media channels; and the ability to access content (including The Edge online magazine and the Income Limits/Fair Market Rents data sets) on the go via mobile apps.
- Department of Energy / Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- EPA / National Service Center for Environmental Publications
- Partnership for Sustainable Communities
- Department of Transportation / Research
- Transportation Research Board of the National Academies
- National Academy of Sciences / Publications
- Library of Congress
- U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)
- U.S. GPO Federal Depository Library Program