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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 1 | Article 17


Climate Change and City Hall

Volume 15 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Data Shop: Psychometrics of Housing Quality Measurement in the American Housing Survey

Sandra J. Newman, Philip M.E. Garboden, Johns Hopkins University

Data Shop

Data Shop, a department of Cityscape, presents short articles or notes on the uses of data in housing and urban research. Through this department, the Office of Policy Development and Research introduces readers to new and overlooked data sources and to improved techniques in using well-known data. The emphasis is on sources and methods that analysts can use in their own work. Researchers often run into knotty data problems involving data interpretation or manipulation that must be solved before a project can proceed, but they seldom get to focus in detail on the solutions to such problems. If you have an idea for an applied, data-centric note of no more than 3,000 words, please send a one-paragraph abstract to for consideration.


This article assesses the test-retest reliability, internal consistency, and convergent and predictive validity of the American Housing Survey inadequacy index. We find that the index does not appear to tap a single underlying construct of housing quality and does not differentiate among the worst quality units. We conclude that it may be time to reconceptualize the elusive construct of housing quality.

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