In 1988, a long-standing and informal working collaboration among faculty members within the University of Georgia community coalesced into the entity now known as the University of Georgia Housing and Demographics Research Center.

They shared research, teaching, and service interests in the disciplines contributing to housing, including consumer economics and demography. The leadership for the formal organization of these faculty was provided by Professors Carol B. Meeks, Roger Swagler, and Anne L. Sweaney.

Through these initial efforts, The University of Georgia Housing and Demographics Research Center was able to become one of just 13 founding members of university-based housing research centers that were formally affiliated through the The National Consortium of Housing Research Centers. Since those humble beginnings, both The University of Georgia Housing and Demographics Research Center as well as The National Consortium of Housing Research Centers have grown and prospered.

In 1996, the University of Georgia Housing and Demographics Research Center was officially recognized and approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Professor Anne L. Sweaney became the Center's Founding Director and continues to serve as Director of the unit. The Center is organizationally situated at and reports through the Department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at The University of Georgia.

In 2004, the Housing and Demographics Research Center (HDRC) established the Board of Advisors, a group of statewide representatives from all aspects of the housing industry. The Board consists of 25-30 members, and members serve a three-year staggered term with the option for renewal.

By-laws for the Center were adopted in August 2015 and established an Executive Committee, Board of Advisors Chair, Sub-committees, and guidelines for UGA faculty involvement. The following mission statement was established: The Housing and Demographic Research Center serves Georgia’s families and communities by improving the economic well-being and quality of life through applied housing, economic, and community development research, outreach and interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector dialogue.