Claritas Partners with Ribbon Demographics to Provide Custom Household Data

Leading Marketing Information Company Creates Custom Demographic Data Sets To Aid in Determining Market Support for Low Income Housing

SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Claritas Inc., the premier provider of intelligent marketing information and target marketing services, and Ribbon Demographics, an affiliate of Value Research Group, LLC, a leading real estate appraisal, market analysis and consulting firm, announced today an agreement for Claritas to provide custom demographic data in support of Ribbon Demographics' ongoing efforts to provide tools needed to conduct effective, reliable and consistent market studies for the affordable housing industry.

"The custom household data, which will be marketed primarily to housing market analysts, lenders, tax credit syndicators, affordable housing developers and governmental housing agencies, are designed to demonstrate the level of need for this particular type of important housing," said Jeff Stevens, Vice President of Claritas' Corporate Business Development department, which negotiated the deal.

Stevens said Claritas created a four-way, cross tabulation database that includes current year estimates and five-year projections of Households by Income, Size, Tenure (owner/renter) and Age for all Census tracts, counties, states and metropolitan statistical areas nationwide.

"Although most income-restricted housing programs base their eligibility requirements for tenants on household income and the number of people in each household, no other source until now has cross-tabulated data by those two variables," said Stevens.

The need for this type of data was brought to the attention of Claritas by Julia LaVigne, Managing Partner of Ribbon Demographics, who was instrumental in crafting the framework of the database to be marketed by Ribbon as HISTA(tm), short for Households by Income, Size, Tenure and Age.

Said LaVigne, "In an industry where there is steep competition for funds, decision makers are constantly faced with difficult choices - choices that we expect will be eased by market studies and underwriting based on HISTA data that makes comparison and analysis efforts considerably more effective and reliable."

LaVigne explained that governmental and other housing finance agencies and developers require demographic studies that quantify the number of eligible households in a market area, and, until the availability of HISTA, analysts had to rely on estimates and the extrapolation of data from a range of sources, "which typically results in widely differing methodologies and equally varied estimates."

About Ribbon Demographics

Ribbon Demographics was formed by members of Value Research Group to develop and market specialized demographic data and reports. One such data product is called HISTA(tm), which allows for professionals and developers involved in the industry to calculate the need for affordable housing with far greater accuracy than was possible before. Ribbon is currently in the process of identifying additional data needs in the housing and other industries. HISTA data and reports are available directly from Ribbon Demographics. For more information visit its web site at (the site is expected to be under construction until mid-April) or contact Julia LaVigne at 973-422-9800, Ext. 16

About Value Research Group

Based in Livingston, N.J., Value Research Group has experience with a broad range of property types including vacant land, retail, multi family housing, office, industrial and residential uses. Assignments range in size and complexity from institutional grade assets to conventional commercial properties. A concerted effort is made to remain in contact with market participants to maintain the integrity of the firm's data and anticipate the trends in the market. For more information about Value Research Group refer to its web site at

About Claritas

San Diego-based Claritas Inc. is regarded as the leading provider of intelligent marketing information and target marketing services aimed at reducing the cost of customer acquisition and growing customer value. Claritas offers over 60 marketing databases, industry leading consumer segmentation systems, consulting services and software applications for site analysis, advertising sales and customer targeting. Since 1971, Claritas has been the pre-eminent source of accurate, up-to-date information about people, households and businesses within any geographic area in the United States. Claritas is a division of VNU, a world-leading information and media company that includes ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, Spectra Marketing Systems, and Scarborough Research, among others. To learn more about Claritas and VNU products and services visit their web sites at and

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