Econometrica’s 15-year legacy of providing American Housing Survey support services continues

Last updated Oct 30, 2018 | Published on Apr 6, 2017

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses a contractor to provide analytical support for the American Housing Survey (AHS). The AHS provides information on the size, composition, and quality of housing; characteristics of occupants and neighborhood; and other descriptive data. It is sponsored by HUD and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau through a nationwide biennial survey and periodic selected metropolitan surveys. Users of the AHS include analysts who support policymakers on housing and related issues, and academic researchers exploring housing conditions and policies. Econometrica’s support for HUD includes quality control and documentation to facilitate users’ proper understanding and interpretation of the data in the AHS, assistance with preparing standardized and specialized reports, and development and maintenance of a bibliography of documents that use the AHS.

Econometrica’s Housing & Community Development Group, led by Dennis Stout and with key support from Dr. Fred Eggers and Dr. Fouad Moumen, has supported HUD on the American Housing Survey (AHS) since 2002. We are familiar with the AHS from both the user’s and the insider’s perspective, including how it is compiled, structured, and coded; HUD’s established methods for analyzing and validating the quality of its data; and the variety of reports that are created by HUD from the AHS, including the Characteristics of HUD-Assisted Renters and Their Units report, the Components of Inventory Change (CINCH) report, the Rental Dynamics report, and other technical reports based on HUD’s research interests. HUD has an arrangement with the U.S. Census Bureau to compile and update AHS data periodically. Econometrica’s role is to perform basic quality control on U.S. Census Bureau data before it is released to the public, as well as perform other supportive tasks, including updating the codebook that the public uses to understand and manipulate AHS data. Other personnel contributing to this work include Tobey Wheelock and Doray Sitko.

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau released the microdata and codebook for the 2015 American Housing Survey, which includes the National Public Use File. The release contains records for the national sample and the 15 largest metropolitan areas, as well as the Metropolitan Public Use File containing records for 10 additional metropolitan areas. Read more about this release and access the files here.

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