July 26, 2013

New Interactive Web-based Application Provides Easy Access to Critical Information on Homelessness Nationwide

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The Homelessness Analytics Initiative, one of the Department’s Open Government flagship initiatives, provides users with easy access to national, state, and local data about homelessness among both veterans and the general population, including risk and protective factors, support services and resources.

In the spirit of transparency, public engagement, and collaboration, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans (NCHAV), announce the launch of the Homelessness Analytics  web application.  This new interactive online tool gives communities, organizations and individuals critical information on trends in homelessness among both veterans and the general population.

The application provides a feature-rich interface that offers easy access to data on the size of the homeless population and sub-populations as well socio-economic indicators that are related to homelessness gathered from dozens of data sources such as the American Community Survey, the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rents, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service Program.  Users can manipulate these data by exploring maps, creating customized tables, and generating charts.  They can download brief formatted reports that provide snapshots of homelessness, resources to address homelessness, and related socio-economic indicators for states and local communities.  It is also possible to select indicators of interest and download these data in a spreadsheet or database to conduct an independent analysis.

The Homelessness Analytics application not only provides access to data but also includes modeling and forecasting features that enable users to simulate expected changes in homelessness given changes in an underlying community level indicator.  For instance, a user can model the relationship between median rent levels and rates of homelessness to better understand how changes in housing market conditions might impact homelessness.

The ease of access to data and the key tools available in the Homelessness Analytics application  make it a critical resource in achieving the key goals of the administration’s Five-Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness and Opening Doors, the Federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.

The Homelessness Analytics application is publically available at:  http://homelessnessanalytics.org/

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