For the first time, HUD released Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) data based on special tabulations of five-year (2005-2009) American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. CHAS data are used by state and local governments in their consolidated planning processes and can also be used by advocates to determine housing needs in their communities.
Previous versions of the CHAS data were based on three-year ACS data, which only allowed for the analysis of housing needs and housing problems in areas with populations of 20,000 or more. The use of five-year data means that all levels of geography, from the state level all the way down to the census tract level, are now available. This is the first time that this kind of analysis has been possible at the census tract level since the 2000 CHAS data, which was based on a special tabulation of the 2000 Census.
Users cannot access data on the State of the Cities Data System Simple Query System, as they could for the 2000 CHAS data. For now, they must download the raw data files and import them into such software as SPSS, SAS, STATA or Excel. It is expected that a more user-friendly platform will be released in 2012.
To download the new data, visit: www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/cp/CHAS/data_download_chas.html
Members of NLIHC who would like assistance in using the data should contact Megan Bolton at email@example.com.