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The American Dream, Aided By Open Government Data

Today, President Obama will be partnering with Zillow to answer your questions about housing.

Yesterday in Phoenix, President Obama laid out his plan to create a better bargain for responsible, middle-class homeowners. And today, the President will answer questions submitted by homeowners, renters, and prospective buyers during a live conversation with the real estate site Zillow.

For most Americans, buying a home is the largest purchase of their lives. That’s where a company like Zillow comes in -- helping families make informed decisions about buying a home and where to raise a family. Zillow is powered, in part, by open government data – including freely available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Census Bureau. Zillow uses these data sets to do things like help home buyers in a given region understand the point in years at which buying a home is more financially advantageous than renting the same home.

Making government data resources publicly available in machine-readable form as fuel for new private-sector products and businesses is one example of how the President is working to make government smarter and more innovative for the American people.

In May, the President issued a landmark Executive Order, Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, and took historic steps to make large-scale additional government data resources publicly accessible, findable and usable. As the President said, “That’s going to help launch more start-ups. It’s going to help launch more businesses. It’s going to help more entrepreneurs come up with products and services that we haven’t even imagined yet.”

We’re excited about what innovative companies like Zillow,, Trulia, Estately, Redfin, and others have done and can do with open government data to help people looking for the right homes for their families This is innovation born of the potent combination of open data and private sector entrepreneurship – innovation that helps Americans and creates jobs. 

Check out the President’s answers to your housing questions right here at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Todd Park, U.S. CTO and Assistant to the PresidentSteven VanRoekel, U.S. CIO and Acting Deputy Director of Management.