Fannie Mae Foundation
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This article reports on a reconnaissance of information systems containing data on the beneficiaries of direct and indirect federal housing expenditures. It covers data in the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and the Treasury; the Resolution Trust Corporation; financial regulatory agencies; and secondary mortgage market actors. Data varied widely across agencies in availability, accessibility, and quality. Data are more systematically collected for low-income beneficiaries of housing programs than for the more affluent beneficiaries of indirect housing expenditures. The systems need improvements in data quality and coverage and database format, though they have improved recently. Many research topics can be explored with new and underused data systems: the characteristics of beneficiaries of rural housing programs, urban rental housing programs, low-income homeownership programs, and mortgage guarantee and insurance programs. But the lack of information on the systems themselves makes data difficult to locate and access.
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