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Housing Assessment Tool (HAT)

The Housing Assessment Tool (HAT) is a self-assessment guide for communities to gather and analyze data on their housing inventory, partner with relevant stakeholders, and develop priorities for local housing investment. Communities can use this tool to make data-driven decisions in addressing housing investment opportunities. The recommended timeline for completing the HAT is approximately one to three months but can be dependent on a community’s capacity.

Please download the HAT Guide to review the process and answer the questions. It is recommended to begin filling out this online HAT Form when all four parts have been completed. 

HAT Overview

Part 1: Create a housing committee or partner with relevant stakeholders and organizations: The role of the committee is to guide the community through the HAT process, organize engagement, assist with data collection, and set clear priorities. A housing committee or advisory board is made up of 5-10 individuals as representatives from relevant stakeholders, organizations, and residents.

Part 2: Collect and analyze local data: The analysis includes demographics, rental and homeownership data, infrastructure, past housing initiatives, housing market, regional housing needs, physical condition assessment, and workforce housing needs.

Part 3: Community engagement: Public input ensures housing needs, goals, and actions reflect the needs and desires of residents. Communities conduct an engagement effort by a distributed survey, public workshop, or other outreach method.

Part 4: Final assessment of the data/input and setting prioritiesThe housing committee analyzes the local data and public input to identify the community’s greatest housing assets and opportunities for investment.

To save and return to the online HAT Form later, click "Save and Resume Later" to create a link for the form. Copy the link to your bookmarks or send it to your email. Each time you update the form, click "Save and Resume Later" for a new link to save your information. Save your answers on a separate document for backup.

General Information

PART 1: Create a housing committee or partner with relevant local stakeholders and organizations

Please provide the name of the representative and/or organization that took part in the committee or process.

Elected Officials

City / County Staff

Public Agencies

Public or Private Organizations

Community Residents

Major Employers

Part 2 has five components:

      A.  Past Housing Initiatives, Infrastructure, and City Services Inventory

      B.  Housing Needs Assessment

      C.  Stakeholder Interviews

      D.  Regional Housing Analysis

      E.  Housing Physical Condition Assessment

A. Past Housing Initiatives, Infrastructure, and City Services Inventory 

If a question is not applicable to your community, enter N/A to the answer box.

1. Past Housing Initiatives

2. New Construction 


3. Home Rehabilitation

4. Code Enforcement

5. Homeownership Support

6. Infrastructure

7. Environmental Impacts

8. Disasters

9. Homelessness Prevention

10. Basic Services

Select the services in your community (Select all that apply).


B.  Housing Needs Assessment

The Local Housing Solution’s Housing Needs Assessment tool, created in partnership with PolicyMap, provides detailed reports for every U.S. Census community. Each report presents data, maps, and visualizations that describe local demographics and measures of housing affordability, housing stock characteristics, and variations in key housing indicators by race, ethnicity, age, and income. The tool compiles and visually displays public available national data sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Communities will use their housing report to complete the following tables and answer the analysis questions for each topic. A hard copy of the report can be printed (click “Download PDF” in the top right corner of report). Note: only the graphs, not the specific numbers, are displayed in the printed PDF version.

Any generated graph can be downloaded by clicking on the image box in the top right side of the graph.

NOTE: The data provided are primarily sourced from the American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. These are estimates collected within a five-year period of your community.  Larger communities will have reliable data but the smaller the community, the data has a larger level of uncertainty and margins of error. These small areas will need to rely on local data sources to measure the real change over time. For more information on data reliability, visit the US Census Bureau's Guidance for Rural Areas: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/library/handbooks/rural.html. It is strongly recommended to use other local data sources for comparison and to remember that this data is not a perfect representation of your community but rather a rough estimate. 

Go to the link: https://localhousingsolutions.org/housing-needs-assessment/ and enter in your community. Find the graph associated with the questions. Some graphs or section are skipped due to data reliability and/or relevance. It should take approximately 30-60 minutes to navigate the report and answer the questions. 


Data on population, age, race, disability, and socioeconomic status provides insight on who lives in the community and informs decisions on how to meet diverse needs and allocate resources.

Fill out the following table below with your community data. Use the pie graphs to find the specific data by hovering over the graphs.


Q1. Using the current population estimate and change since 2010, how do you predict the population to change over the next 20 years?


A substantial change in the poverty rate over time can be a sign of an important trend, such as a deepening of economic distress or changes in the composition of an area’s population due to shortages of affordable housing. If a community’s poverty rate is substantially higher than the state or U.S., it could be a sign the community has an abnormally high rate.

Graph: Poverty Level and Trend


Some people with physical disabilities require housing with special features, such as wider doorways or easy-entry showers. The overall share of people with disabilities can be a helpful marker of the need for housing adaptations and services, but the category is broad and different people with disabilities, including developmental and other non-physical disabilities, have different needs.

Graph: Share of Population with a Disability


A healthy housing market provides a diverse range of housing options, including rental and market homes affordable to people of different incomes. An examination of the percentage of households that rent their homes, and the characteristics of these renter households (age, income, and cost-burden) can help communities understand the needs of renters and the extent to which policy changes may be needed to help ensure those needs are met. The availability of rental units can encourage young professionals and families to move to a community and eventually settle down to purchase a home.

Graph: Share of Households Who Rent

Q5. How did the share of households who rent in your community change from 2010 to 2020?

Graph: Share of Renters by Age

Q6. Which age cohorts are MOST likely to rent? (Choose 2-3)

Graph: Share of Renter Households Cost Burdened

Q7. How has the share of rental households that are moderately or severely cost-burdened changed from 2010 to 2020?

Graph: Comparison of Trends in Rent and Income (Indexed)

Analysis: Rental Affordability


Graph: Homeownership Rate

Q12. How did the homeownership rate change in your community from 2010 to 2020?

Graph: Homeownership Rate by Age

Q13. Which age cohorts are MOST likely to own? (Choose 2-3)

Graph: Comparison of Trends in Median Home Values and Median Income

Graph: Distribution of Reported Home Values (2020)

Q17. Which home values are MOST prevalent in your community? (Choose 2-3)
Q18. Which home values are LEAST prevalent in your community? (Choose 2-3)

Graph: Share of Owner Households Moderately or Severely Cost Burdened

Q19. Are owner households more moderately or severely cost-burdened?

Analysis: Homeownership Affordability


Graph: Federally Subsidized Housing Units, Federally Subsidized Housing Units by Expiration

Analysis: Dedicated Affordable Housing


Graph: Severely Crowded Households

Q24. If yes, is the crowded housing more severe in owner or rental households in your community?

Analysis: Alignment of Housing Supply and Demand


An older housing stock, if not well-maintained, is associated with issues such as energy efficiency and high renovation costs. “Aging housing stock” is defined as homes built before 1980. After 1980, modern building codes took effect in the 1970s. 

Graph: Age of Housing Stock

Q26. When was the majority of the homes in your community built? (Choose 1-2)

Flood Risk

Flooding is the most frequent and costliest natural disaster, yet most households are uninsured or underinsured against flooding. The map illustrates areas of high and moderate flood risk in the region. "High Flood Risk" translates to annual chance flood risk, while "Moderate Flood Risk" indicates a 0.2% annual chance flood event.


This section is designed to help communities understand the housing needs of older adults and the availability of small housing units that might meet the needs of older adults and others in one- and two-person households.

Graph: Share of Households Headed by a Senior

Q30. How did the total share of senior households in your community change from 2015 to 2020?
Q31. Which age cohort is more prevalent in the total share of senior households in your community?

Analysis: Housing Stock for Older Adults

C. Stakeholder Interviews

The housing committee will interview 1) up to five of the largest employers in the area and 2) up to two local realtors to provide insight on the current and future housing needs in your community. Stakeholders are representatives of organizations or businesses in the region that provide unique insight to the current and future housing needs in your community. These representatives could be on the housing committee or will need to be contacted for a brief interview. The Employer Stakeholder Interview Questions is provided on the HAT webpage. Enter in the stakeholder data below or upload a file of the data.

1. Local Business / Employers: Contact up to five of the largest employers in your area. 

How many businesses did you interview?

Business #1

Business #2

Business #3

Business #4

Business #5

Analysis: Local Business / Employers

Businesses / Employers Upload
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2. Realtors: Contact up to two real estate professionals that work in your area to answer the questions. Local realtor interview questions are provided on the HAT webpage. Upload any additional realtor stakeholder data or notes below. 

How many realtors did you interview?

Realtor #1

Realtor #2

Analysis: Realtors

Realtor(s) Upload
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D. Regional Housing Analysis

Your community can greatly benefit in addressing housing opportunities and challenges by collaborating with neighboring communities and employers. Regional collaboration can be a challenge but can provide a comprehensive understanding of the economic conditions that contribute to local housing needs. It brings opportunity to strategically plan and share resources, staff, and knowledge to address the shared housing challenges more effectively. The first step is assessing your regional housing challenges and opportunities.

Consider the questions below while describing your community in relation to its region.

  • How does your community’s housing (quality, quantity, availability, etc.) compare to neighboring towns?
  • Considering the largest employers in your region, in which communities do these workers commute from? 
  • Have current residents previously moved to neighboring communities for better housing opportunities?
  • Does your community lose potential residents to neighboring communities?
  • What housing does your community provide that meets the needs of the region?
  • Are there similar housing needs in your county/region?
  • Does your community share any infrastructure with the region?

Find your region in the Kansas Statewide Housing Needs Assessment 2021 found at 2022_01_14-Kansas-Housing-Assessment-Regions-Section-3-Low-Res.pdf (kshousingcorp.org) to answer the questions below.

E. Housing Physical Condition Assessment

A housing physical condition assessment is helpful to identify the housing needs and areas for redevelopment. The assessment looks at the exterior condition of all residential properties in an area of interest or the entire housing stock. The minimum requirement is to perform a physical condition assessment on a housing investment focus area in your community. Your committee will decide the scope of the survey based on your goals, timeline, and capacity of your community. 

Volunteers can either perform a walking or windshield survey for the assessment. For each residential property, a volunteer “rates” the physical condition. There are four condition categories: Excellent, Satisfactory, Deteriorated, and Dilapidated. Volunteers should consider the condition of the following during the assessment: foundation, roof, windows, doors, siding, porch, and the overall impression of the home.

A housing condition rating guide and template is on the HAT webpage for download. Upload your assessment results below and answer the questions as applicable depending on how your community conducted its assessment. 

Housing Condition Assessment Results
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Housing Condition Analysis Questions

What are the primary housing challenges observed from the physical condition assessment? (Select 1-3)

PART 3: Community engagement

Public input and ongoing engagement are essential components of the planning process to ensure the identified housing needs, goals, and actions reflect the needs and desires of your residents. Integrating their input through the planning process increases support for implementation and can reveal new stakeholders to further address housing needs. It is strongly recommended to complete a public outreach effort in your community in addition to the housing committee. Review the engagement methods and choose one strategy that best fits your community and timeline. Facilitators from K-State Research and Extension or the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Development Division can assist your community in this process. Possible engagement methods include:

  • Community Survey: conduct a questionnaire in person, online, or a physical copy to gather input (example survey questions are available for download on the HAT webpage.)
  • One-on-One Meetings: meet with residents and stakeholders individually or in small groups to facilitate more natural and informal conversation.
  • Community Workshop: engage your residents to share stories, identify challenges and opportunities.

A Community Engagement Survey Question Bank and the Housing Stakeholder List are on the HAT webpage for download. After the public input, answer the questions below. 

Once the housing committee thoroughly reviews the community's data and public input, the committee pulls it all togeher to have a clear assessment of the local housing needs. This is the opportunity to set clear objectives and priorities for housing in your community. Approach the review of your community's data and input with an open mind. To achieve long-term success, it is essential to consider the multitude of factors that affect a local housing market. 

The housing committee, as a group, will assess a comprehensive list of housing initiatives, types, attributes, and supporting services to "score" as a housing asset, housing need, or neutral. Once the tables are complete, the committee describes the top three housing assets AND the top three housing needs and opportunities for investment. 

Note: the identified priorities should include more than one component or attribute. 


  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
Owner-occupied housing
Renter-occupied housing
Temporary housing

Housing Type

  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
Entry-level single-family housing
Mid-level single-family housing
High-end single-family housing
Large lot, acreage housing
Townhomes / row houses
Multi-family apartments
Condominiums (condos)
Manufactured / mobile housing
Senior housing (independent living)
Senior care facilities (assisted, nursing)
Downtown housing (above commercial)


  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
Young professional housing
Family housing
Senior housing
Workforce housing
Disabled housing
Low-to-moderate income housing
Moderate income household housing
High income household housing
Homeless housing
Former incarcerated housing

Housing Initiatives

  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
New construction
Infill development
Homeownership incentives
Developer incentives
Code enforcement
Regional collaboration
Homelessness prevention
Brownfield development

Housing Factors

  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
Land availability
Historic homes
Housing type variety
Housing price variety
Housing quality
Aging housing
Construction costs
Worker shortage
Flood zone

Infrastructure / Amenities

  Housing Asset Neutral Housing Need
Water distribution
Stormwater drainage
Sanitary sewer
Sidewalks / trails
Park / open space
Reliable internet
City services (library, pool, etc.)
Emergency / safety (fire, police)
Health services
Retail / restaurants
Jobs / employment
Proximity to urban area(s)
Transportation services
Community center

Housing Priorities

Housing Assets:

Describe the top three housing assets in your community. Provide explanation for how your committee decided on these priorities.

- Housing Needs:

Describe the top three housing needs and opportunities for improving the housing in your community. Provide explanation for how your committee decided on these priorities.

Final Questions

If your community has a recent housing study, please attach a copy.
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HAT Feedback Questions

How was your overall experience completing the HAT?

If your community is interested in scheduling a meeting with the Housing Inter-Agency Committee (HIAC) to discuss your housing priorities and funding opportunities, please contact Linda Hunsicker at Linda.Hunsicker@ks.gov or (785)-215-4484. 

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