USC Area Housing Dashboard

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the USC Area Housing Dashboard?: The USC Area Housing Dashboard, developed by Neighborhood Data for Social Change at the USC Price Center, in partnership with the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD), seeks to highlight the neighborhood data trends of the USC community concerning resident characteristics, the built environment, and housing affordability & stability. This platform is a product of community interest and advocacy, and its purpose is to inform community members, community organizations, and local policymakers of data pertinent to the community surrounding USC’s University Park Campus (UPC). In constructing this dashboard, the Price Center hopes that civic actors and community-based organizations in South Central LA would be able to use the data to track measurable change, and be empowered to advocate for a better quality of life within their community.

Will more visualizations be posted on the website?: Yes, new visualizations will be posted onto the website every quarter of the year, following the launch of the dashboard in the Fall of 2021. The dashboard has three given data topics which are: I) Resident Characteristics, II) Built Environment, and III) Stability & Affordability. Each of these three data topics will have at least one visualization at the beginning of the dashboard’s launch in the Fall of 2021. Users can expect regular and novel content in each of these data topics that will focus on important data surrounding housing, and the demographics of the community surrounding USC. If you are interested in particular datasets to be included in the dashboard in the future, please fill out our feedback form.

What is a census tract?: A census tract is a geographic area that the U.S. Census Bureau uses to subdivide counties; they are uniquely numbered by six-digits (e.g. 224020), and have around 4,000 inhabitants per tract. The USC Area Dashboard uses tracts as units to visualize data on the included maps. The geographic area of the dashboard (which we refer to as the “USC area”) includes 21 census tracts, and is bordered on its north side by Washington Boulevard, on its south side by Vernon Avenue, on its west side by Normandie and Western Avenues, and on its east side by Maple Avenue and Main Street. The extent of the area of the study can be viewed on the map on the homepage of the website.

Are there any helpful aids to understand each visualization?: In each visualization there may be some helpful aids to assist you in understanding the data presented; you can find these aids in the light blue text surrounding each visualization. There are two kinds of aid. The first type of aid is the “What is this showing me?” text; it summarizes the type of information presented through the visualization, and in what format it is presented to you. The second aid is the “Helpful Tip” text; it can either explain how to move through the different sub-pages of the visualization, or how to understand something about the data that is shown. In using these helpful aids, we hope you can understand and work through the data presented with ease.

What is the tooltip? How can I use it as a viewer?: The tooltip is a small window that pops up when scrolling through a data visualization. The tooltip provides greater context about the given map, graph, or chart being viewed; the information represented in the tooltip goes beyond what can be represented by simply looking at the visualization. Some of this information may include: a geographic label (e.g. census tract, city, county, state), a year of the data, a summary of the statistic being visualized (e.g. count, rate, percent), and a summary of other relevant statistics.

How can I read the Key Takeaways from each visualization?: To read the most important findings of each visualization, you can go to the bottom of the visualization to the “Key Takeaways” section. The purpose of the key takeaways section is to summarize the most important findings from each visualization, so you as the viewer can have more context for the information, both before viewing a visualization, or after viewing a visualization. The key takeaways section identifies trends, important dates, basic statistics, comparison and contrast between geographies, and important census tracts for a given variable. We hope that with the aid of the key takeaways section, you can find the importance and the implications of each visualization for the community surrounding the USC Area. To find out more about the common geographical unit for our data visualizations, or census tracts, please read the question above entitled “What is a census tract?

How can I learn more about the data from the visualizations (including the data source)?: To find out more about the data used in a visualization, you can click on the light blue “Learn About the Data” link on the bottom left of each visualization. On the page this link directs you to, you will find various forms of information about the data, including: variable definitions, data sources, and extended data notes. This resource is particularly useful if you intend to use the data in any published materials, in order to cite the original source, or if you are interested in examining the source of the data for future organizational or personal use.

For additional information or questions, please contact Elly Schoen at