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About This Site

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This site was launched on February 19, 2021, near the end of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We aim to provide a user-friendly tool to visualize the impact that the pandemic is having on rental housing stability within cities in the US through the lens of rental housing providers. Tenants face particular challenges in the face of disasters, and those challenges have been amplified in the current pandemic. Post-disaster stability requires that landlords remain solvent and interested in continuing to provide rental housing. We anticipate that the study findings will contribute to the national conversation about rental housing access and stability and will assist local government officials and planners in evaluating existing disaster policy responses and developing new and innovative rental housing stability strategies.



Jane Rongerude

Associate professor of community and regional planning, Iowa State University

Dr. Rongerude is an associate professor in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University where she teaches classes in planning theory, housing, community planning, and planning and social justice. Her research investigates how housing policy and planning practices shape and maintain poverty places and contribute to or inhibit opportunities for community transformation. Within this frame, her work addresses a range of topics including rental housing instability, housing and disasters, the redevelopment of public housing, and community engagement practices. Her research has been published in the Journal of Community Practice, Planning Theory and Practice, Urban Affairs Review, and the Journal of the American Planning Association. She earned her MCP and PhD in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Biswa Das

Associate professor of community and regional planning and specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa State University

Dr. Das is a faculty member in the department of community and regional planning at Iowa State University (ISU), and an extension specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Besides teaching courses at ISU, as part of ISU Extension, Dr. Das is the program leader of a public finance outreach initiative (Iowa Government Finance Initiative) targeted at Iowa cities and counties. He also delivers outreach programs relating to the community and economic development of Iowa communities. His main areas of research interest are in applied public finance, economic development, and natural resource and environmental economics. He received his Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from Texas Tech University.

Daniel Kuhlmann

Assistant professor of community and regional planning, Iowa State University

Dr. Kuhlmann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University. In additional to his role in the MRED program, Professor Kuhlmann teaches a real estate course in the Ivy School of Business and conducts policy research for Iowa State Community and Economic Development Extension. In his research, he examines how planning and public policy affect peoples’ housing choices and housing behavior. He received his PhD and MA in Urban Planning for Cornell University and his BA from Carleton College. Prior to returning for his graduate studies, Professor Kuhlmann worked professionally in the real estate industry at a development advisory firm, in commercial real estate, and at a major mortgage servicing company.

Lily Wang

Professor of Statistics, Iowa State University

Dr. Wang is a Professor in the Department of Statistics at Iowa State University. Dr. Wang's primary areas of research include developing cutting-edge statistical methods and data science tools, statistical (machine) learning of data objects with complex features, survey sampling, and the application of statistics to problems in economics, neuroimaging, epidemiology, engineering, environmental studies, official statistics, and biomedical science.

Lin Quan

PhD Student in Statistics, Iowa State University

Suggested Citation

Rongerude, J., Das, B., Kuhlmann D., Quan, L. and Wang, L. (2021). Keeping shelters in place: Understanding landlord decision-making during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


This disclaimer informs readers that the analysis, views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the site belong solely to our research group, and not necessarily to the contributors' employers, organization, government agency, committee, or other group or individual.

Note: Our research and data will be continuously improved. Thank you very much for your time and support.