As reported last week (see Memo, 4/25), HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) released a new Public Housing Data Dashboard. In this Memo article, NLIHC provides a more detailed analysis of the Dashboard, identifying both its useful content as well as some issues with the new resource.
The introductory paragraph on the dashboard website states that the dashboard displays unit occupancy trends, public housing funding information, scores from the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS), public housing eligibility information, resident characteristics, and energy data. The introduction also indicates that most of the information can be sorted and filtered by public housing agency (PHA), state, region, and HUD field office. However, at least at this stage, resident characteristics are not available by PHA, PHAS scores are not indicated, and “public housing eligibility” seems to refer to Operating Fund eligibility. Most of the dashboard data points will be updated weekly, but the data relevant to resident characteristics will be updated only quarterly.
The “Welcome Page” presents the national fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations for the public housing Capital Fund and Operating Fund, as well as the age ranges of the heads of households living in public housing. By hovering your cursor over a state on the map, basic public housing information for that state is listed, such as: the number of PHAs, amount of funds available, the percentages of units occupied, the number of residents, percentage of racial minority residents, and percentage of elderly or disabled residents.
The “Management Assessment Subsystem (MASS) Occupancy” page shows that nationally, out of 6,247 public housing developments across 2,774 PHAs, 94.43% of 935,768 Annual Contribution Contract (ACC) units are currently occupied. That means that 858,462 of the ACC units are under lease, leaving 50,596 units not under lease. On average, 41% of all units are zero to one-bedroom units, 25% are two-bedroom units, and 26% have three or more bedrooms. PIH has an overall occupancy rate goal of 96%. Currently, 1,729 PHAs are at or above the 96% occupancy goal, while 741 are below 96% but above 90% and therefore subject to PIH monitoring. Another 304 PHAs have an occupancy rate below 90% and should be under more intense PIH monitoring.
The “Public Housing Funding Summary” page offers users the choice of funding years ranging from 2017 through 2021. The amounts of Operating Fund, Capital Fund, and CARES Act supplemental funds, as well as other sources are provided. The numbers of PHAs receiving Operating Funds and Capital Funds differ (2,838 and 2,827 respectively). In 2021, 129 PHAs received $25 million in Shortfall funds. In addition, one can learn that three deeply troubled PHAs are currently receiving receivership funds.
The “Operating Subsidy Eligibility Data” page shows Operating Fund eligibility amounts, the sum of project expenses (PEL) and utility expenses (UEL) less “formula income” (rents tenants are expected to pay). These figures can be found for years between 2019 and 2022.
The “Public Housing Residents Characteristics” page shows that nationally there are currently 1,725,941 public housing residents, 43% of whom are elderly or disabled, and 616,125 of whom are children. The average household income is $14,567, with 25.94% of the households having wage income. The average monthly rent is $312. Hovering your cursor over a state on the map reveals state-level data. This page does not provide PHA-specific information. PHA-specific information can be gleaned from PIH’s Resident Characteristics Report (RCR) site. RCR’s national numbers are not the same as those on the dashboard. PHA-specific numbers can also be obtained from the Picture of Subsidized Housing on the Policy Development & Research website. The dashboard’s information comes from 50058 forms submitted by PHAs to HUD (the forms are available at a PD&R GIS site).
The last page, “PHA Paid Resident Utility Information,” shows actual utility cost, utility rates, and per-unit-month consumption for electricity, water, and sewer, with distinctions made for fuel sources, such as coal, fuel oil, gas, propane, wood, and steam.
Visit the Public Housing Data Dashboard at: https://bit.ly/3Ey4pTK
Read more about public housing on page 4-31 of NLIHC’s 2022 Advocates’ Guide.