“I live in a rural area near a small-town center, and we don’t want to fill up all the land that makes these areas beautiful, but we do need to find a way to address the shortage of housing.”
 – Thetford, VT

Tracking housing-related data will help monitor the region’s housing needs. Specific datasets can help us to answer questions. Are there enough homes to meet demand? Are residents able to afford a home? What about the size and location of homes? Are our homes in adequate condition? Are there enough rentals? Are there enough homes with supportive services? Are our homes in resilient locations? Do the locations of our homes provide for easy access to employment and efficient, lower-cost transportation options?  What proportion of new homes created are located within walkable community centers and served by community infrastructure?  

There are reliable and regularly-updated datasets available that help us monitor many of these questions. Other insights will require funding, collaboration and thoughtful methodology to properly analyze and track. These new initiatives will benefit from the support of municipalities, organizational leaders, and housing champions.