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Share Your Ideas for the 2021 AHS

HUD User elist
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HUD and Census are kicking off the planning process for the 2021 American Housing Survey (AHS), and we want to hear from you! To ensure the AHS data is as useful as possible in your work, we are asking for your input on two important features of the AHS.

Give Input on 2021 Oversamples

Would you like to see oversamples of new metropolitan areas in the 2021 AHS? In keeping with the 2015 survey redesign, we are planning to continue with our integrated national sample for 2021—including a representative national sample, representative samples from the top 15 metropolitan areas and a HUD-assisted oversample. We also intend to revisit the housing units in the 10 additional metropolitan areas we interviewed in 2017. But, if you would like HUD to consider an oversample in another metropolitan area, state, or geographic area, please send your suggestions to Please note that the current AHS sample design permits creation of state-level estimates for CA, FL, IL, MA, NY, PA, and TX every two years and CO, MD, OH, and VA once every four years.

Make Suggestions for 2021 Topical Modules

Do you have an idea for a new topical module? HUD has included rotating topical modules in every survey since 2011. To ensure the AHS data continues to be relevant to data users, we'd like to hear your thoughts about topics for 2021. Let us know if you'd like HUD to consider reinstating topical modules used in prior surveys or suggest entirely new ideas. Please note that if you recommend new topical modules, you are agreeing to "sponsor" the topic by devoting your time and expertise to work with us to develop questions.

To assist you in thinking about potential new topics, we have included the table below, listing all the topical modules we have featured in the AHS over the years. There's also a timeline that walks you through the recommendation process—from idea submission to HUD's final decision. Take a look and then send your ideas for 2021 topical modules to

Survey Year



Health and safety features of homes Accessibility features and extended battery of disability questions


Public transportation use and neighborhood walkability
Neighborhood social capital
Neighborhood features
Emergency and disaster preparedness
Delinquent payments and notices
Double-up households


Food insecurity
Health and safety features of homes
Arts and cultural resources
Housing counseling


Delinquent payments and notices
Emergency and disaster preparedness
Commuting costs

2019 (planned)

Food insecurity
Secondary education enrollment
Accessibility features
Housing insecurity (experimental and not meant for public release)

Topical Module Recommendation Timeline

By January 31, 2019

Sponsor schedules a kick-off meeting with HUD to present ideas.

By April 1, 2019

Sponsor provides a draft of possible questions to HUD for review as well as literature review of similar questions, if applicable.

May - June 2019

Sponsor participates in one or more discussion sessions with HUD, leading to a preliminary draft of questions.

July - Sept 2019

Sponsor participates in one or more discussion sessions with Census about preliminary draft questions, leading to final draft of questions.

Oct - March 2020

Final draft questions undergo cognitive testing by Census experts.

March - April 2020

Final draft questions are revised as necessary based on cognitive testing results, leading to final questions.

May 2020

HUD makes final decisions about which topical modules to include.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The AHS Team is committed to making it as easy as possible for you to use the AHS data in your work. If you have any questions, or if you have suggestions for ways we can improve the survey and make it easier to access and work with the data you need to achieve your goals, please call us at 1-800-245-2691 or email us at