Housing Data Systems (HDS) began in 1991 in West Salem, Wisconsin, where a small team of experts on public and tribal housing accounting got together and began designing some of the very first custom software solutions for these industries.

At that time, the idea of using computers and computer software to make life easier for housing authorities was a radically new and unusual one, as evidenced by the fact that our founders drove car-loads of cumbersome computers, monitors, and keyboards—along with installed software—to personally deliver to our clients.


The technology has changed a great deal since then but the personal touch that was a hallmark of our company’s founding has not. Over the years, we thankfully stopped making deliveries of clunky computers by car. But what we learned in those early days—and continue to learn every day since—is that the worlds of Tribal and Public Housing are absolutely unique and require a hands-on approach unlike anything else in the software world. And for over two decades, we at HDS have used this knowledge to develop, modify, and improve our housing software and services with the input and insights of housing authorities across the country.


This collaboration and experience has led to the premier software solution for these unique and complex environments, a tradition we continue to cherish as we endeavor to build even newer, more intuitive and reliable software products and provide the highest quality of services for our customers.

1984 - 1988

Richard Wagner and Leo Hirsch dip their toes in the public and tribal housing worlds as fee accountants at Housing Data Specialists. While there, they write the first piece of software for this unique industry, running it on a Dell 386 server and five Zeos 286 personal computers (and a few very classy 13" amber monitors).


Leo and Rich (and 2 partners from Housing Data Specialists) founded Housing Data Systems to make software for the tribal and public housing industries.

August 2, 1990

HDS begins its first install (Monroe County) on the same day the Gulf War begins. It is less clear which ended first; the install or the war.

August 1993

HDS opens an office in West Salem, WI.

1995 - 1996

The first major re-write of the HDS software suite is completed.

February 1996

HDS signs up its 100th client.


HDS begins to convert customers to its new, highly customizable Microsoft Windows version in advance of the Y2K scare.

May 2001

HDS adds its 200th client.


HDS completes the last major re-write of its core software, HDSWin.

August 2008

HDS celebrates the addition of its 300th customer.

Summer 2011

HDS Labs is formed to spearhead new software development for HDS.

Fall 2012

HDS Labs opens a development office in Denver, CO to lead and coordinate all new software development efforts.

Spring 2014

HDS releases HDS Entry Mobile Inspections, its first mobile application designed to work with HDSWin.

March 2014

HDS releases HDS Queue, an online waiting list application lottery.

Summer 2014

HDS releases HDS Fileroom, a paperless file management system designed specifically for housing authorities.

October 2015

HDS installs the first version of Doorways.

March 2016

First Annual User Conference held in Denver (Alliance).

January 2017

First HDSWin migration to Doorways.