Homes for The Taking: Liens, Loss and Profiteers

Homes for The Taking: Liens, Loss and Profiteers

Organisation: The Washington Post (United States)

Publication Date: 06/05/2014



** This project won the DJA 2014 in the category : Best data-driven investigation ** In the nation's capital, a century-old program designed to recoup taxes morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for aggressive investors who took hundreds of homes over debts as small as $44, then flipped them for millions. In 2013, The Washington Post probed this under-the-radar industry, revealing how a series of troubled investors turned $500 delinquencies into insurmountable debts. A word from the jury of the Data Journalism Awards 2014 : 'In a tightly competitive category with highly praised work, we found Homes for The Taking to be epitome of what this category sought to honor: enterprising investigative journalism stemming from in-depth analysis of data and extensive on-the-ground reporting. The work had a significant impact and held officials accountable'.

Technologies used for this project:

The bulk of data collection, cleaning and analysis for this project was completed using R, SPSS, Python, MySQL, ArcGIS, Google Refine and Microsoft Excel. Data graphics were created using SAS, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Mapbox, jQuery and Bing Maps for geocoding.
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