Posted Date: April 25, 2019
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This second-of-three messages about major updates to AHS products for 2011-2017 announces a new HUD-assisted households variable in the national Public Use File (PUF) microdata, along with a new help document and improvements to the AHS table creator. HUD and Census encourage all AHS users to read this and each of the messages carefully as they each contain valuable information!

New HUD-assisted households variable in the 2013 national sample PUF microdata

On April 24, HUD and Census released a new version (1.2) of the 2013 national sample (AHS-N) PUF microdata. This PUF microdata now includes a new variable, called SUBWGT. This variable is a special weight that, when combined with the PUF microdata variable HUDADMIN, allows PUF microdata users to produce totals of HUD-assisted households. The HUDADMIN variable indicates which AHS cases are receiving HUD assistance and is based on an administrative match of the AHS with rental assistance records provided by HUD.

New HUD-assisted household variable in the 2011 national sample PUF microdata

This new SUBWGT variable is also included in the just-released version 2.0 of the 2011 AHS-N PUF, which was announced in yesterday's message. In addition to the release of SUBWGT, HUD and Census also revised the HUDADMIN variable to fix some prior incorrect values.

Revised HUD-assisted households help document

HUD and Census revised and re-released a document called, "HUD-Assisted Renter Oversample and Administrative Data Matching for the 2011 and 2013 AHS." This document provides extensive detail on how the HUD-assisted oversample was created and integrated into the AHS national sample. It also describes how data matching was used to identify additional HUD-assisted cases in the AHS-N PUFs microdata that were not part of the HUD-assisted oversample. Finally, it discusses the creation and use of the new SUBWGT weighting variable.

Improvements to the AHS Table Creator for the 2013 AHS

Yesterday's release also featured several small updates to the AHS Table Creator for the 2013 AHS, including:

  • The Housing Unit Characteristics table is now available. This table contains data for all housing units, which includes seasonal and vacant units. All other tables in the AHS Table Creator are based on occupied housing units only.

  • The Median Year Built row indicator in the General Housing table, Year Built table section, has been corrected. In previous releases, values for Median Year Built were incorrectly rounding up about 50 percent of the time. The formula for interpolating medians has been adjusted, resulting in about half of the year-built medians decreasing by one year.

  • In the General Housing table, a new Access to Structure table section was added, which includes eight new indicators.

  • In the Delinquent Payments and Notices table, a Renter Occupied total row was added to the beginning of the table to improve readability.

  • Across all tables, some symbols also changed. In the original 2013 Table Creator tables, for example, a blank cell represented zero or rounds to zero. Revised data now show that a blank cell represents true zero and a "Z" represents estimates that round to zero. Finally, cell suppression was added to 2013, resulting in a new symbol, "S", which represents estimates that did not meet publication standards.

Look for the final announcement in this series of AHS updates tomorrow. It's part of our ongoing effort to make it as easy as possible to access and use AHS data. As always, we want to hear from you. If you have questions or suggestions, call us at 1-800-245-2691 or email us at