New Federal Website Aims to Enhance Community Services
The Obama administration recently unveiled a new online tool at opportunity.census.gov that brings together data from Census Bureau, HUD, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and others to help community leaders improve services, and to assist residents in getting the most from their communities. The website is part of an effort by the administration to improve the delivery of social services, increase opportunities for children, and increase transparency. Recent research demonstrates that neighborhoods can stifle or facilitate successful futures for children, with some places providing ladders out of poverty.
Nine cities, including Washington, New York, and San Francisco, have contributed data sets, including those detailing crime, schools, and transportation. The site will provide links to other sites, among them Zillow, that help combine this information into maps showing proximity to schools along with housing costs.
The website does not evaluate the services that are available. The White House hopes that the site will serve as an aggregator for government data and the tools needed to make complex information easily understandable.