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A Picture of Subsidized Households Detailed Explanation of the Variables

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A Picture of Subsidized Households Detailed Explanation of the Variables

Name in This Report Computer File

General Notes: 99 = 99% or more; blank or -1 = low reporting or unknown
Name Start Width
Program pgm 1 2 Summary level is in the FIRST column:
  1. U.S. totals
  2. Total of all housing agencies of a particular size. Actual size is shown in name and at end of record. Only covers programs run by housing agencies*. Agency is classified based on total units in all programs.
  3. State total, also used for DC and outlying areas
  4. Housing agency total*
  5. No longer used
  6. Project record (not for Certificates+Vouchers, Moderate Rehabilitation) A 'project' is a building or group of buildings funded at about the same time.
  7. Census tract summary

    A Census tract is an area of about 1,500 homes, chosen by local communities in cooperation with the Census Bureau, as an area that is somewhat homogeneous socio-economically. Maps were published by the 1990 Census, showing tract boundaries

Programs are in the SECOND column. Numeric values are used in the data file, while letters are used in printed reports:

File Report

1 A Total for all programs

2 B Indian Housing
3 P Public Housing

Section 8:

4 C Section 8 Certificates+Vouchers
5 K Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation
6 S Section 8 New Construction or Substantial
Rehabilitation (including 202 financing)

Federal Housing Administration (FHA):

7 T Section 236 project
8 F Other FHA projects with subsidy (including
Sec. 8 Loan Management, Rental Assistance
Program (RAP), Rent Supplement, Property
Disposition, etc)

9 L Low Income Housing Tax Credit

* Note that programs 6-9, (S-L) are not included in housing agency summaries, since they are independently managed.

Address & City name 5 32 Name of the project, agency, state, or size class.

For summary level 6, projects: name is in the first 12 characters of this item, a brief address is in the second 12 characters and city is in the last 8. When a project has more than one address, a central one was picked, as discussed below under "Latitude."

For any project whose agency does not have the same code as the beginning of the project number, we put a note in the name (e.g. RQ001001 is noted as being: @RQ005). This is in positions 1-6 of the name, or in 19-24 if street address was blank.

For summary level 7 in program 4 (C), Census tracts in Certificates+Vouchers this item shows: county and tract, in the format: "Cert+Vch:county123 1234.67tract"

For summary level 7 in program 1 (A), Census tract summaries across all programs, this item shows: population, renter households, and percent in various programs, in the format: "12345pop 2345ren 12P 12C 12H 12L". The abbreviations are as above, except H is a total of programs 6, 7 and 8 (S, T and F).

Code code 40 11 Project code or number: This always starts with a 2-letter state abbreviation (RQ for Puerto Rico, as used in most HUD project numbers).

In summary levels 1-3, this code has a very brief label, like AL for Alabama. For other summary levels, the meaning varies by program:

In program 1 (A: i.e., for tract summaries that include all programs present in the tract), this code shows: state, tilde (~), HUD units as % of housing units in the tract in 1990, and number of housing units in the tract in 1990, like "AL~12% 1234 "

In programs 2-5 (B, P, C, K) this code shows: state abbreviation, then blank and agency#, then blank and project# if any, like: "AK 001 001" In program 2 or B, an M after the project# (in the 11th character) means Mutual Ownership. Portability households are coded with the agencythey are billed to (whence they moved).

In program 6 or S this code shows: state, 2-digit HUD office, and project number, like "AK01R123456"

In programs 7-8, (T, F) this code shows: state, underline, 3-digit HUD office and project number, like "AK_11144666" For this group, if state was unknown, we generated it from the HUD field office code. There may be some errors where offices cross state lines.

In program 9 or L this code shows: state, curly bracket ({), then state-defined project ID, if any, like "AK{87-123"

Units Available units 53 7 Number of units: Units under contract and available for occupancy.

This count is of 6/1/97 (same as tenant data) for Public and Indian Housing, Certifictes, Vouchers and Moderate Rehabilitation. In other programs it is not as recent as the tenant data; it is 9/30/95, except Tax Credits, it is 12/94.

If an agency overall has more Certificates+Vouchers than it reports on, we assume each tract has extra Certificates+Vouchers in the same proportion (but we assume no more than twice as many in a tract as the number reported).

The number of units was missing and had to be estimated for a few projects. In Tax Credits, when we show 35 units we had no data (and used 35 since it is the national average); projects which truly had 35 or 36 units are shown as 36. In Ofc. of Housing (programs 6-8 or S-F), 66 units mean we had no data (and used 66, the national average); 67 means actually 66 or 67. In Public & Indian Housing, zero units are shown for 95 projects. It is believed most are not active project numbers.

%Occupied occ 61 2 Occupied units as % of available. This is valid in program 3 (P: Public Housing).

Elsewhere no data are actually available, and numbers are assumed, purely for calculating reporting rates: In program 6 (S) occupancy rates are stipulated at 98%, and in programs 7-8 (T, F) at 96% (Wallace 1993, page 2-27, though his figures are based on rent revenue, and occupancy is less). In other programs we stipulate 99%, since almost all units are assumed occupied.

%Reported rep 64 2 Reported households, as % of occupied, based on up to 30 months of reports, received through 6/97 or 7/97. Only the most recent report on each household is counted; households reported to have moved out are not counted, of course. If some agencies by mistake have reported more households than they have units, these excess reports are not counted.
%<1Yr mover 67 2 % in program less than a year. If it is 100% or 0%, the project has reported only admissions, or no admissions, either of which is usually a data quality problem
H.Hold.Siz size 70 3 Average size of household, with decimal point & decimal place (for example 2.5). To find the number of people served by the agency, multiply this size by units available and % occupied.
Av.Rent rent 74 3 Average gross household rent per month.

This includes rent the household pays to the agency or landlord, and an estimate of any separately metered utilities they pay (and also ownership costs in Indian ownership programs).

Based on households with rent in the range $1-$2,498; other rents are considered errors. Virtually all zero rents are missing data, since the minimum rent (10% of income) applied to positive income (see note on missing data in income) gives positive gross rent. However if gross rent is lower than estimated utilities, rent to the agency or landlord may be zero.

This is item 14 on form HUD-50058 (highest of: 10% of gross income, 30% of adjusted income, or welfare rent), except in vouchers, where it is item 22k (total family contribution), and Indian Mutual, where it is item 17h (family cost).

Spending spend 78 3 Average Federal spending per unit per month. Not fully comparable across programs.

For Public & Indian housing, this only includes 1996 operating and modernization spending, since the construction costs have already been paid for, and opportunity cost is not available. It omits Drug Elimination Grants, which are the only other major source of current spending.

Operating subsidy to all agencies, and modernization funding to large agencies (generally over 250 units), is distributed every year by formula so we use the actual funding.

For smaller agencies modernization funding is competitive, and they do not all receive it each year, so the actual funding in any one year would not reflect average long term costs. As an approximation we found the average modernization per unit, and multiplied this average by the units in each agency to estimate the long term expected value of modernization spending. A higher fraction of Indian agencies receive modernization than of other agencies, so we did the average separately for Indian and non-Indian agencies.

At each agency, for purposes of this summary, total spending is averaged per occupied unit per month, without differentiating among projects. In fact some projects receive more or less than average each year.

For Section 8, total spending is calculated for each unit (from the rent calculation form) and averaged, so averages should vary correctly in each tract and agency. In Certificates+Vouchers and Moderate Rehabilitation our estimate also includes the 8% administrative fee.

In other programs spending is not yet available, so figures exclude section 236 and other subsidies. Some spending shows up in Section 236 and Other Subsidies, but this is just Section 8 (Loan Management), averaged over the households that receive it.

Av.Income incom 82 3 Average total household income. This is shown in thousands of dollars per year, with decimal point.

This is basically total income before adjustments, expected for the next 12 months, but it does exclude some types of income which HUD regulations do not count at all, such as earnings of minors, and scholarships.

Averages below $1,000 are shown as .00-.99 thousand dollars. Averages below $10,000 are shown as 1.0-9.9 thousand dollars. Higher averages are shown as 10. to 99. thousand dollars. (All software that we are familiar with can handle this floating decimal point; normally declare the maximum width: 3 and maximum decimal positions: 2.)

Based on households with income in the range $1-99000. Virtually all zero incomes are missing data, since even homeless households moving in would expect some income assistance in the year to come.

%<$5000 i5 86 2 % Below $5,000
%$20000+ i20 89 2 % $20,000 or more (you can get the category $5-19,999 by subtraction)
%Wages wage 92 2 % Majority of household's income comes from wages and/or business
%Welf welf 95 2 % Majority of household's income comes from welfare (AFDC or General Assistance, not Supplemental Security Income).

Note that remaining households have majority of income from another source, such as pensions, Social Security, SSI, unemployment benefits or child support, or have a mixture, with no type giving a majority of income

Incm.Mix mix 98 2 Income mix as percent of average income. The larger the number, the more income mix.

This is the coefficient of variation, which is the standard deviation of income, as a percent of the average income. The standard deviation measures how far each household's income is from the average income. Incomes that are far above or be low average have large effects, since the differences are squared before being averaged.

%ofMed med 101 2 Average of: household's income as percent of local median income, adjusted for household size.

Local median incomes are estimated regularly by HUD, because they are used in setting income limits for housing subsidies. (The most common income limit is 50% of local median income, adjusted for household size. There are some state and national floors and ceilings, which restrict the amount of variation from area to area.) Here we compare with adjusted median income (i.e. twice the 50% limit), so for example if local median income is $30,000 (and the 50% limit is $15,000), then a subsidized household with $10,000 income has 33% of local median income.

Every year, HUD estimates the median income of families in each metropolitan area and each non-metropolitan county, in order to establish income limits. That estimate is based on both subsidized and unsubsidized families. 'Families,' used in establishing median incomes, include only people living together who are related by blood, marriage or adoption; people living alone are not used for establishing median incomes, but of course they are eligible for subsidy, and are included in all the statistics on subsidized housing.

When we say 'adjusted for household size' we mean the following: We make no adjustment in households with 4 people. We reduce the denominator 10% for each person under 4 in a household (3 people: 90% of the 4-person denominator; 2 people: 80%; 1 person: 70%). We increase the denominator 8% for each person over 4 in the household (5 people: 108% of the 4-person denominator; 6 people: 116%; etc.).

%Age<25 a24 104 2 % Under age 25: age of head or spouse, whichever is older
%Age62+ a62 107 2 % Age 62+
%Age85+ a85 110 2 % Age 85+ (part of line above)
%Disab<62 d61 113 2 % With disability, as % of households below age 62 (includes households where either head or spouse has handicap or disability)
%Disab62+ d62 116 2 % With disability, as % of households age 62 or more
%Minority min 119 2 % Minority
%Black blac 122 2 % Black, not Hispanic
%Hispanic hisp 125 2 % Hispanic (of any race)
%Nat.Amer indn 128 2 % Native American
%Asin-Pac asia 131 2 % Asian or Pacific Islander
Dif PR-HA dif 134 2 Difference between project & agency in % Minority: measures extent to which subsidized minorities live in different places from subsidized whites. Scale is 0–50. The larger the number, the more separately whites & minorities live.

For Public Housing projects, this is the difference between: % minority for the project, and overall % minority for Public Housing at the agency. Difference is shown for each project (in absolute value). Average of these differences i s shown for each agency.

For Certificates+Vouchers (which do not have projects), difference is based on Census tracts with more than 10 households reported: average difference between: % minority among Certificates+Vouchers in the tract, and overall % minority among Certif icates+Vouchers at the agency.

Summaries of this item exclude agencies that are under 5% or over 95% minority, and agencies with only one project or tract, since there cannot be much difference there.

%0Bedroom bed0 137 2 % 0 Bedrooms

We treat units with no bedrooms reported and more than 2 people as missing data, and omit them from numerator & denominator of bedroom percents.

%1Bedroom bed1 140 2 % 1 Bedroom
%2Bedroom bed2 143 2 % 2 Bedrooms
%3+Bedrms bed3 146 2 % 3 Bedrooms or more
%2Sp+Chil sp2 149 2 % Both spouses: married couple with 1 or more children under 18
%1Sp+Chil sp1 152 2 % Spouse not present; but 1 or more children under 18 are present
%Female fem 155 2 % Female head. This is bigger than single parents, since many elderly women are female heads, but have no children present.
%Br>Peopl bedx 158 2 % Overhoused, with more bedrooms than people
%w/Assets as 161 2 % With assets over $5,000. The denominator excludes households with assets over $200,000 (errors), but includes zeros, some of which may be errors.
Av.Assets asav 164 2 Average assets, in thousands of dollars, among households with assets $5,000-$200,000
%w/Utilty ut 167 2 % With valid utility allowance ($1-$1,000 are considered valid) This is an estimate of the utilities the household needs to pay to the utility company. It is zero if all utilities are included in rent.
Av.Utilty utav 170 3 Average utility allowance, among households with it, in dollars per month
Mos.Stay stay 174 2 Average months since moved in. Excludes programs 4-5(C,K), since move in dates before 1993 are not known
Mos.Wait wait 177 2 Average months on waiting list, among admissions. Excludes programs 6-9 (S, T, F, L), which do not report waiting list dates
Mos.Rept rept 180 2 Average number of months since manager reported on household.

Households are reported annually, on a flow basis, so for good recent data the average should be about 6 months. Larger averages mean recent data have not been received, or have not been accepted, because of errors.

Latitude lat 183 6.3 Average latitude. Data file includes decimal point and 3 decimal places

For all summaries except projects this is an arithmetic mean, weighted by number of subsidized units. (If there is only one certificate or voucher in a tract, we round latitude and longitude to 2 decimal places instead of 3, to preserve confidentiality.)

For projects with only one address, we give its latitude and longitude. For projects with more than one address, we pick the address that is closest to the median latitude and median longitude of the whole project, and use this address' latitude, longitude, zip code, county, tract, etc. Other files have more address information, but no data on occupants (see Subsidized Housing Projects' Geographic Codes, page 17)

Longitude long 190 8.3 Average longitude. Data file includes decimal point and 3 decimal places.

Negative means West longitude, which covers most of the United States. Zero is in Britain; negative numbers go to -180 in the Aleutians; positive numbers go to +180, also in the Aleutians.

Distances in miles between points a and b can be calculated (where f=.0174532925 and converts from degrees to radians):

IF abs(longa-longb) < .001 THEN
distance = abs(lata-latb) * 69.055
distance = 3956.56 * arcos{ [sin(lata*f) * sin(latb*f)]
+ [cos(lata*f) * cos(latb*f) * cos(abs(longa-longb)*f)] }
Zip zip 199 5 Zip code, assigned by the postal service, unique within United States. 88888 means more than one Zip code applies
County cnty 205 3 County: 3-digit code, unique within state. 888 means more than one county applies
Tract tract 209 7.2 Census tract surrounding the project, code unique within county, including decimal point and 2 decimal places. 8888.00 means more than one tract applies
T%Poverty tpov 217 2 Tract % Poor: Poor as % of population, in Census tract that surrounds project

This, like other items, is averaged for all projects, weighted by number of units in each project

T%Minrty tmin 220 2 Tract % Minority: Minorities as % of population, in Census tract that surrounds project, data as of 1990
T%OwnSFD tow1 223 2 Tract Single Family Owners: Households that are owner-occupants of single family detached homes, as % of households in Census tract that surrounds project, data as of 1990. This counts owner-occupants in buildings with 1 unit, not townhouses, condominiums, or mobile homes
MSA msa 226 4 Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA or PMSA). Code is unique within the United States.

0 means not in any metropolitan area (blank or -1 means status unknown)

8888 means more than one metro area applies.

MSA and PMSA (Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area) codes form one consistent series; the distinction is minor: PMSAs are pieces of even larger "Consolidated" areas (CMSAs), while MSAs are free-standing.

These are statistical areas established by the Office of Management and Budget. HUD has subdivided some for setting Fair Market Rents and Income Limits, and HUD's areas are NOT reflected here.

Place place 231 4 Code for the city, town, or Census-defined place (such as a well-known locality that is not legally incorporated). Unique within state. 8888 means that more than one code applies.
Cong.Dist cd 236 2 Congressional District, for the Congress elected in 1994. 88 means more than one district applies. Unique within state.
HA.Size cl 239 1 Size class of housing agency.

0 not in any agency
1 1-99 units in agency
2 100-299 units in agency
3 300-499 units in agency
4 500-999 units in agency
5 1,000-2,999 units in agency
6 3,000-4,999 units in agency
7 5,000-9,999 units in agency
8 10,000-29,999 units in agency
9 30,000 or more units in agency

Summaries, and Agencies with 5,000 or More Units

The following pages show national summaries for all programs. For Public Housing and Certificates+Vouchers we also show summaries by size of agency, and individual agencies with 5,000 or more units (the 107 agencies shown have 1,100,000 of the 2,700,000 units in these programs). The list of agencies is sorted by state and agency number.


Zero means the number rounds to zero. For example, numbers less than a half are rounded to zero.

Blank or -1 is shown when data are unknown, or when 'few' households were reported. 'Few' means (a) less than 40% of households were reported, too few for reliable data, or (b) the absolute number of households reported was 10 or fewer, so their confidentiality could be at risk. For reporting rates below about 80%, the data may be unrepresentative, but we show data down to 40% to give some indication of patterns. In the computer file, the symbol -1 is used for low reporting.

8888, 888, and 88 have special meaning: more than one MSA, county, etc. is included in the area, so a more specific code cannot be given.

Data are limited to the space available. For example, to fit 100% into 2 digits, it has been coded as 99.