Our History
a legacy built on ambitious purpose and heart-led leadership

Our History
a legacy built on ambitious purpose and heart-led leadership

Our History
a legacy built on ambitious purpose and heart-led leadership

From the very start, our sole focus has been to assist tribal and public housing authorities in simplifying the incredibly difficult rules and regulations associated with providing housing for those most in need.

Our founders, Richard Wagner and Leo Hirsch, leveraged their public and tribal housing expertise to write the first piece of software for Housing Data Specialists in the late 1980s. At the time, the use of computers and software in the industry was a radically new idea.

In 1991, they and two others founded Housing Data Systems (HDS) to continue serving the market. We opened the doors to our first office in West Salem, Wisconsin, and gave the HDS software suite its first major rewrite. By 1996 we signed our 100th client.

In 1999, HDS had converted customers to a new, highly customizable version of the HDSWin product. The last major rewrite of HDSWin was completed in 2008, the same year we celebrated our 300th client.

The birth of HDS Labs

Our CEO, Doug Chapiewsky joined the company in 2011 and helped to establish the HDS Labs team in Denver, whose mission it is to innovate on our housing management solutions. Starting in 2014, HDS Labs added three new applications to the HDSWin suite:

• HDS Mobile Inspections
• HDS Queue, for online waiting lists
• HDS Fileroom, a paperless file management system specifically for housing authorities

Starting in 2015, HDS Labs began development of Doorways, which is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use solution on the market. In 2019, Doorways began wide distribution across the U.S. public and tribal housing markets.


In 2020, HDS changed its name to Kanso Software.

Today over 270 public housing authorities, and over 250 Native American tribes use our housing management software to manage complex business operations and make data-driven decisions.

The future is bright

In the last 30 years, we’ve learned that the worlds of public housing and tribal housing are unique and require a hands-on, heart-led approach unlike anything else in the software world. The more we learn, the more we see how much we still need to learn.

As Kanso Software grows, we’ll continue to look for opportunities where our software platform can serve communities, including homeless populations and non-profits.

Whether you’re a user of our legacy HDSWin housing management software, or you work with our new Doorways platform, our commitment to you is stronger than ever.

Thank you for joining us on our journey these past 30 years! We hope you are as excited as we are to embark on the next chapter.