Friday, September 08, 2006

Low-Income Housing Data & Social Work

Have not posted in over a month. Miss blogging immensely. Been a bit busy teaching 3 credits during the summer, teaching 6 credits this fall, consulting on some Python scripting on the side, submitted a paper for publication, and of course my full-time job as the GIS Librarian. Nuff said...

Low-Income Housing Data

Social work faculty and grad students have been over to see me frequently during the summer and now into the fall semester. They are primarily seeking assistance with collecting datasets and with a very high curiosity about how GIS can help them with their research. These folks are thrilled to work with the most readily available resources, such as Census data, AGS estimates, and facility locations. However, another frequent request is for low-income housing data. I had to do some digging, but here are the best resources that I have been steering them towards and implementing within GIS and SPSS. Before I prepare a formal document outlining the numerous low-income housing datasets, I want to flesh out my ideas here.
  • HUD's LIHTC (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit) Database
    • This database provides a complete list of all rental properties that receive funding through HUD's LIHTC program through 2003. These rental properties have program rent and income restrictions.
    • Project and financial variables are provided for each rental property.
    • Here is a link to the entire database in DBF format. Most records include lat/long, so this takes the pressure off having to geocode.
    • Here is more information on the LIHTC program.

  • Qualified Census Tract Table Generator
    • As I understand it, a rental property must be located within a QCT (Qualified Census Tract) to qualify for LIHTC.
    • This table generator creates tables specifying the FIPS code for tracts designated as QCTs in 2005 and 2006.
    • This resource also generates tables specifying the tracts designated as a DDA (Difficult Development Area), which seems to be another way for a property to qualify for LIHTC.

  • Residential Finance Survey
    • Taken each decennial census since 1950, the RFS (Residential Finance Survey) is the only survey designed to collect and produce data about the financing of nonfarm, privately-owned residential properties.
    • Provides financial data for multi-unit rental properties, including property and mortgage characteristics. Also includes renter information. Great stuff.
    • The 2001 RFS Public Use File for both renters and owners can be downloaded in SAS format here.

  • Special Tabulations Retrieval System
    • Creates tables that provide counts of households by tenure, by income intervals, by age of householder, by size of household, by housing conditions as of the 1990 Census and the 2000 Census. These variables are available by themselves via Factfinder, but not cross-tabulated as this system provides.
    • Downside is that this data is only available down to the county, MSA, and place level.

  • HUD Boundary Files Download Site
    • For a number of datasets available from HUD, census tracts and block groups are split by jurisdiction boundaries. This means that those TIGER and TIGER-derived files do not cut it here. Never fear, though, because this is where you can download these split tracts and block groups in shapefile format.

  • Low and Moderate Income Summary Data
    • As I understand it, families must be classified as earning either low or moderate income to qualify for any housing subsidy programs. This resource specifies the number of families that are categorized as low and moderate income down to the census block group level.

  • CHAS 2000 Data

  • Picture of Subsidized Households
    • OK, perhaps I saved one of the best resources for last. Or perhaps this was just the last item added to my bookmark list...
    • This dataset provides, down to the census tract level, housing totals, public housing, section 8 data, section 236 data, other HUD subsidy programs, and LIHTC data.
    • This is the only dataset I have yet found that provides section 8 data on a geographic level as local as a census tract.
    • Down side to this dataset is that it is only available for 1996 through 1998. There is also a file that describes this data for the 1970's as well. But of course, if you contact HUD you can get more current data...
These datasets are forming the basis for a workshop I am holding this semester. I will discuss the four workshops I have planned in my next post, which will be sooner than 6 weeks away...


b99 said...

DataPlace is a great site with lots of housing data and interactive mapping and charting.

mapz said...

This is fantastic! I have never seen this site before, but on first glance it seems to either have the data I need or point to other sources. Great.

Thanks for pointing this site out to me. There are few things I enjoy more than new data sources to explore...

b99 said...

You are welcome. Social Explorer is another excellent site. It is limited to census data, but they have recently expanded their offering to include data back to the 1940 census.

Anonymous said...

Great resource! Had some architecture students ask me about census data available for GoogleEarth and your blog is definitley the best resource I"ve come across - much appreciated!

From my own work I have a gis related question regarding calculating teh width in metres of a Google Earth image (using a script). I've posted it here for want of a better place -

salman santo said...

With all the turnkey rental bad news about real estate there is in fact some compelling reasons for rental properties getting serious about buying a home right now.

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