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The American Housing Survey


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The statutorily mandated American Housing Survey (AHS) is the richest source of information about the nation's housing stock and the characteristics of its occupants, and it plays an important role in assessing the performance of government housing programs. HUD provides funding, oversight, and leadership on the AHS, while the Census Bureau provides operational management and conducts data collection. The additional funding devoted to Research & Technology beginning in FY 2010 and continuing through FY 2011, FY 2012, and FY 2013 has enabled HUD to restore the AHS to near its historical level of 60 metropolitan-area surveys on a 4-year rotating basis.

The AHS metropolitan surveys are important because they allow PD&R to observe housing market activity at a subnational level. For instance, a metropolitan survey was conducted in New Orleans in 2011, which in turn enabled comparison to the surveys conducted in 2004 (the year before Hurricane Katrina) and in 2009 (4 years after the storm). The surveys in 2009 and 2011 documented the change to the housing inventory caused by the hurricane and the subsequent progress of rebuilding efforts.

HUD redesigned the AHS for 2015 and beyond. The redesigned 2015 AHS includes a new longitudinal sample with an oversample from the largest 15 metropolitan areas and HUD- assisted housing units. Most of the core content and topical modules of the survey remain intact. A "bridge" sample of households from the 2013 AHS will allow for estimation of longitudinal changes between 2013 and 2015 and facilitate analyses of survey design changes.

Note: The status of this project is ongoing.


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