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2017 AHS: New Releases, Updates, and a Fix in the PUF File

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HUD and Census have made some important changes to the 2017 American Housing Survey data. The updates and a fix in the 2017 public use file (PUF) are a part of our continuing effort to make the survey data easier to use and more accessible.

New Delinquent Payment Data Released

New data from the 2017 AHS Delinquent Payments topical module is now available. This module looks at whether owners or renters had difficulty paying their housing and utility costs and whether they believe they are at risk for foreclosure or eviction. The new data is available as a table in the AHS Table Creator (Delinquent Payments and Notices) and as new variables in the Public Use Files (PUFs).

Major fix to "Not Reported" and "Not Applicable" in the 2015, 2017 PUF CSV Files

Sometimes we make big mistakes, and we corrected one last week. In the 2015 and 2017 PUF CSV files, we inadvertently switched the values for Not Reported and Not Applicable. The correct values should have been Not Reported (-9) and Not Applicable (-6). We released updated versions of the CSV files with the correct values. We also updated the document "Getting Started with the Public Use File: 2015 and Beyond." This mistake does not impact estimates previously released in the Table Creator, nor those in the SAS version of the PUFs. If your analysis typically ignores these values, this fix will have no effect on your analysis.

New 2017 AHS Table Specifications with Data User Verification

The 2017 AHS Table Specifications, featuring PUF estimates, have been published. You can use this handy resource to turn PUF variables into summary table estimates as well as to check your code to ensure it is producing summary estimates that agree with the official Census summary estimates.

Other Updates

Several resources have been updated to help you better work with the AHS data. We:

  • Published "Dependent Interviewing in the American Housing Survey: 2017 and Later," which looks at AHS questions that use responses from a prior survey year to generate responses for the current survey year.

  • Edited PUF variables in the "Housing Problems/Structural Problems" subtopic that also impacted the "Housing Quality" table in the AHS Table Creator. These minor edits to nine PUF variables only impact the estimate of number of households that did not report ("Not Reported").

  • Corrected the "Primary Year of Work" column variable labels for the Home Improvement Costs Table in the AHS Table Creator.

  • Re-released the Values Label Package to include the addition of new variables, as well as a few fixes to existing variables. Changes are reflected in a Read Me document accompanying the Package.

The AHS team always welcomes feedback on ways we can improve the survey. We also want to know how you and your colleagues may be thinking about using the new 2017 AHS data, so that we can assist you in your efforts. If you have any questions about the new tools or need our help, contact the AHS team at 1-800-245-2691 and by email