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American Housing Survey-Metropolitan Sample Assessment Project


Report Acceptance Date: October 2001 (88 pages)

Posted Date: November 20, 2001

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In order to confirm that the expected rate of progress is being made to reach "the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family," Congress requires an annual report by the President. To help meet the reporting requirements, the American Housing Survey (AHS) gathers data on issues such as housing quality, housing amenities, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers.
The American Housing Survey-Metropolitan Sample (AHS-MS) gathers data for each of 47 selected metropolitan areas every 4 to 6 years, with samples of about 4,800 housing units for each metropolitan area. The survey is conducted by the Census Bureau for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Census Bureau returns to the same housing units year after year to gather data.
Reduced research budgets over the past decade caused HUD to reduce the frequency of surveys and the number of metropolitan areas surveyed. In addition, the likely prospect of a new national survey (the American Community Survey) has given rise to questions about where the AHS-MS fits into the national housing data framework. In the face of these challenges, HUD is interested in discovering ways to make the AHS-MS more useful and cost effective.
In response to HUD's request for assistance in answering those challenges, Booz·Allen & Hamilton was tasked with collecting, consolidating, and analyzing information from a wide variety of AHS-MS users. This project was designed to assist HUD in answering the following questions:

  • What is the overall usefulness of the AHS-MS?
  • What are the uses of the AHS-MS?
  • Who are the users of the AHS-MS?
  • How does the proposed American Community Survey affect the AHS-MS?
  • Would modifying, adding, or deleting specific features increase effectiveness of the AHS-MS?
  • What are potentially productive ways to communicate with, and learn more about, potential AHS-MS users?

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