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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 1 | Can Administrative Housing Data Replace Survey Data?


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Volume 19, Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Can Administrative Housing Data Replace Survey Data?

Emily Molfino
Gizem Korkmaz
Sallie A. Keller
Aaron Schroeder
Stephanie Shipp
Daniel H. Weinberg
Virginia Tech

Refereed Papers
Refereed papers that appear in Cityscape have undergone a thorough and timely double-blind review by highly qualified referees. The managing editor reviews submitted manuscripts or outlines of proposed papers to determine their suitability for inclusion in this section. To submit a manuscript or outline, send an e-mail to

This article examines the feasibility of using local administrative data sources for enhancing and supplementing federally collected survey data to describe housing in Arlington County, Virginia. Using real estate assessment data and the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2009 to 2013, we compare housing estimates for six characteristics: number of housing units, type of housing unit, year built, number of bedrooms, housing value, and real estate taxes paid. The findings show that housing administrative data can be repurposed to enhance and supplement the ACS, but limitations exist. We then discuss the challenges of repurposing housing administrative data for research.

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