HUD recently launched a new Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) database, providing for the first time household-level data on tenants participating in HUD’s largest programs.
HUD already releases aggregate data on all subsidized households through its report, A Picture of Subsidized Households. While the Picture dataset provides the public with a wealth of information on HUD programs, this new household-level data will give users a better understanding of who these programs serve and how well they are meeting the needs of these households.
The database is a 5% sample of all households receiving assistance from HUD’s largest programs. These are the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 programs. The database will not allow users to identify the households in the sample but will include data on family type, household income, race, gender, and other household characteristics. The database also offers geographic details about where tenants live, such as state, whether the location is in a metropolitan area, whether the location is in an urban area, and the poverty rate for the location’s census tract.
Although public, researchers must request access to the database. Prospective users must provide their names, institutions and email addresses and certify that they will use the data for legitimate research purposes and will in no way use the data to try to identify households. One of HUD’s primary concerns is the privacy of the tenants served by these programs. HUD used strategies in the data to ensure that no personally identifiable information is revealed with this release. HUD’s goal is to update this database annually.
For more information on this new database or to register to download the data, visit this webpage.