HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) is pleased to announce that CHAS (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy) data, are now available via an application programming interface (API). With this API, developers can easily access and customize CHAS data for use in existing applications or to create new applications. To create an account and get an access token, please visit the API page here: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/dataset/chas-api.html.
On August 25, 2020 HUD released updated CHAS data for the 2013-2017 period.
About the CHAS
Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives custom tabulations of American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These data, known as the "CHAS" data (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy), demonstrate the extent of housing problems and housing needs, particularly for low income households. The CHAS data are used by local governments to plan how to spend HUD funds, and may also be used by HUD to distribute grant funds. For more background on the CHAS data, including data documentation and a list of updates and corrections to previously released data, click here: Background.
Access the data
HUD has created a simple web-based table generator (also known as a query tool) that provides some of the most commonly used CHAS figures (click here for the CHAS query tool). Data users who are comfortable working with large datasets and have appropriate data management software (such as SAS or SPSS) can download the complete set of data files (click here for the data download page). The data download tool includes data from every ACS release from 2006-2008 through 2012-2016, for a variety of geographic summary levels. HUD has also created new analytical tools to support HUD grantees preparing their Consolidated Plans. The eCon Planning Suite and CPD Maps are pre-loaded with CHAS data. Access to the eCon Planning Suite is limited to CPD grantees, but CPD Maps is available to the general public.
Older versions of CHAS data, from the 2000 Census and the 2005-2007 ACS, are available below. These data are different from more recent versions, and are not in the data download tool.
HUD will periodically post publications, presentations, and working papers using CHAS data.
This table generator produces a small number of tables that focus on some of the most commonly used CHAS figures. It is meant to help individuals looking for data for a specific jurisdiction. Start by selecting the appropriate geographic summary level. If you are looking for data for a city, it will probably be under “Place”. If your local jurisdiction is a “township” it will probably be under MCD (which stands for minor civil division). Take care to select the correct jurisdiction. Note that all numbers are household counts.
Users can select a specific jurisdiction of interest (such as a state, county, or city) and receive a few simple tables including information such as the number of low income households, or the number of households with housing cost burden. Results can be viewed in a web browser, or downloaded in spreadsheet form.
This tool is meant to provide similar information to the data in the CHAS query tool in the State of the Cities Data System, which contains CHAS data from 1990 and 2000 (available here: http://socds.huduser.gov/chas/index.html)
Use the drop-down menus below to download all CHAS tables for a specific year and geographic summary level. Data files are formatted as csv files (comma delimited text) and grouped in a .zip file.
Select Geographic Summary Level
HUD has created a set of Excel files for each state, plus DC and Puerto Rico. These files are appropriate for planners and local practitioners interested only in their geographic area. More extensive guidance for using these files is provided here: CHAS Users Guide
Because of the large amount of data in each table and the large number of jurisdictions, providing nationwide data in only one file per table is beyond the capacity of Excel, except at the state level. For example, if Table 1—with 249 rows of data per jurisdiction—were provided for all 1,882 counties in one file, that file would have 468,618 rows. Below are 52 zip files—one for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—each of which contains data for that state only, in Excel. The Excel files are named as follows: CA_Table1_050, where “CA” indicates the state, “Table1” is the table, and “050” is the geographic summary level. For 19 states in which MCDs are the primary governmental or administrative divisions of a county, there are 36 Excel files in each zip file—18 at the summary level 050 and 18 at the summary level 060. All other zip files contain 18 Excel files.
State Files for Download
Alabama (*.zip, 3.3MB)
Alaska (*.zip, 0.4MB)
Arizona (*.zip, 2.5MB)
Arkansas (*.zip, 1.0MB)
California (*.zip, 3.5MB)
Colorado (*.zip, 1.7MB)
Connecticut (*.zip, 4.4MB)
Delaware (*.zip, 0.2MB)
District of Columbia (*.zip, 0.1MB)
Florida (*.zip, 3.6MB)
Georgia (*.zip, 6.0MB)
Hawaii (*.zip, 0.3MB)
Idaho (*.zip, 1.2MB)
Illinois (*.zip, 11.6MB)
Indiana (*.zip, 9.8MB)
Iowa (*.zip, 2.4MB)
Kansas (*.zip, 3.2MB)
Kentucky (*.zip, 3.7MB)
Louisiana (*.zip, 3.1MB)
Maine (*.zip, 1.6MB)
Maryland (*.zip, 1.6MB)
Massachusetts (*.zip, 7.6MB)
Michigan (*.zip, 11.2MB)
Minnesota (*.zip, 6.8MB)
Mississippi (*.zip, 3.3MB)
Missouri (*.zip, 3.7MB)
Montana (*.zip, 0.6MB)
Nebraska (*.zip, 1.4MB)
Nevada (*.zip, 0.6MB)
New Hampshire (*.zip, 1.7MB)
New Jersey (*.zip, 10.4MB)
New Mexico (*.zip, 1.3MB)
New York (*.zip, 11.7MB)
North Carolina (*.zip, 5.5MB)
North Dakota (*.zip, 0.9MB)
Ohio (*.zip, 13.3MB)
Oklahoma (*.zip, 2.7MB)
Oregon (*.zip, 1.9MB)
Pennsylvania (*.zip, 9.8MB)
Puerto Rico (*.zip, 4.3MB)
Rhode Island (*.zip, 1.7MB)
South Carolina (*.zip, 2.7MB)
South Dakota (*.zip, 1.0MB)
Tennessee (*.zip, 4.3MB)
Texas (*.zip, 7.9MB)
Utah (*.zip, 0.9MB)
Vermont (*.zip, 0.9MB)
Virginia (*.zip, 5.3MB)
Washington (*.zip, 2.1MB)
West Virginia (*.zip, 2.2MB)
Wisconsin (*.zip, 5.7MB)
Wyoming (*.zip, 0.7MB)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has received from the U.S. Census Bureau a special tabulation of Census 2000 data that are largely not available through standard Census products. These “special tabulation” data are used by local governments for housing planning as part of the Consolidated Planning process. HUD also uses some of these data in allocation formulas for distributing funds to local jurisdictions.
HUD released similar data after the 1990 Census and made most of those data available to grantees and the general public. Those data are typically referred to as the “CHAS Data.The CHAS data are different from the standard Census 2000 data files. They are mostly comprised of a variety of housing need variables split by HUD-defined income limits (30, 50, and 80 percent of median income) and HUD-specified household types. In addition to the CHAS 2000 data, HUD is also making available data being used for various allocation formulas, including the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) and Fair Share formulas.
The CHAS 2000 data reflect HUD's attempt to balance a desire to have data comparable with the 1990 CHAS Data, in order to measure change, against the need to request only those variables that are likely to be used. The 1990 request included a number of items that appear to have been of only minimal value to HUD, grantees, and the general public. In addition to the slimming down of the specifications, there are some significant additions in the 2000 request. Some of the significant changes from the 1990 data include:
1. Most of the variables are produced at multiple geographic levels, including state, county, minor civil division, place, and census tract. In 1990, most of the data were obtained at the geographic level of place and county.
2. On a select set of tables, HUD has added some new income breaks to reflect programs with different income requirements. Those new breaks include less than 21% of HUD Area Median Family Income (HAMFI), 60 to 65% of HAMFI, and 95 to 100% of HAMFI.
3. On a select set of tables, tenure is split three ways: rent, own with a mortgage, and own without a mortgage. In 1990, tenure was generally only split two ways: rent and own. In addition, one table splits the renter tenure by single-family property and multifamily property.
WAYS TO ACCESS THE DATA
At the request of users, we are making the data available in several different ways:
(1) Simple Query System. Users can use a simple query system to obtain basic housing need and basic affordability mismatch data for their jurisdiction. These data can be queried at the state, county, place, HOME program, and CDBG program geographic levels. The housing need tables are somewhat more detailed tables than the old CHAS Table 1C.
(2) State Files. Users can download the data for just their state. For each state, the user downloads a zipped file that contains separate files in DBF format for each of the 59 tables each geography level. Generally, the data are available at six different geography levels: state, county, minor civil division, place (if a place crosses county lines, there is a separate record for each county part), consolidated city, and Census Tract (part). There are a few tables at the Block Group (part) level. Before unzipping the files, we recommend looking at the basic table characteristics. The DBF file does not have data labels, so we recommend that the user also print out the data dictionary for the table(s) of interest. The file names look as follows:
AL - A1A050r where: “AL” is the state of Alabama; “A1A” is for Table A1A; “050” is for the Census Summary Level 050, county; and “r” indicates that the data are rounded.
The Census Summary Levels are:
040 = State
050 = State - County
060 = State - County - County Subdivision
080 = State - County - County Subdivision - Place/Remainder - Census Tract
091 = State - County - County Subdivision - Place/Remainder - Census Tract - Block Group
155 = State - Place - County
170 = State - Consolidated City
3) National Level Files. Users can download national files in SAS (R) format, SPSS (R) format, and DBF format. SAS and SPSS are statistical packages, DBF is a database format. For these files, the user downloads the data by the table of interest and the data format (SAS, SPSS, or DBF). The zipped file downloaded contains separate files for each of the geographic levels produced for that table. The SAS and SPSS files have data labels for each variable that you can use to make sure you are using the correct variable for your analysis. The DBF files do not have data labels, so we recommend that the user also print out the data dictionary for the table(s) of interest.
As many users know, most of this data has been available since September 2003. This web page reflects an update of those data as of November 2004. Some tables were found to have problems that have been corrected. In addition, due to the rounding rules applied to all special tabulation data, we identified a problem with making only census tract and block group level data available. The problem created by the rounding was to cause a larger than marginal deviation from the actual totals when the data were aggregated to higher levels of geography. This caused particular problems for jurisdictions wishing to compare 1990 statistics to 2000 statistics. As a result, these data reflect new tables created by the Census Bureau at the higher levels of geography of minor civil division, consolidated city, place, county, and state. If possible, users should use the highest level of geography that seems reasonable for their particular project.
LABELS FOR GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
For the SPSS and DBF files, tables at the state (040), county (050), minor civil division (060), place (155), and consolidate city (170) geographic levels have labels for their geographic area. Labels are not provided for the tract (080) or block group (091) level data, nor are labels attached to any of the SAS files.
All of the tables contain a field with the FIPS codes that comprise that geographic area. For example, for the files available at the Tract (part) level, the field containing the geographic identifier is labeled "sum080". The geographic identifier for "sum080", for example, looks like the following:
It is comprised of: State (the first 2 digits), County (3 digits), County Subdivision (5 digits), Place (5 digits), Tract (6 digits, with an implied decimal place before the last 2 digits).
For SAS Users, we are also including programs or files with labels for each geographic area.
State labels: fmt_state.sas
County labels: fmt_cnty.sas
County subdivision labels: fmt_mcd2k.sas
Place code labels: fmt_hudplc.sas (note, these are standard place codes except for consolidated cities. In those cases, this file has consolidated city instead of place and the consolidated city code is used instead of the place code).
Native American area labels: fmt_nativeamer.sas (re: summary levels 144, 280, and 282)
Alaska Native Regional Corporation labels: fmt_anrc.sas (re: summary level 230)
MAPPING THE DATA
The summary level 080 (tract part) and 091 (block group part) are not standard shape files available from the U.S. Census Bureau. For planners interested in mapping the CHAS data at the Census tract or block group level, they can obtain the summary level 080 and 091 data from the HUDUSER website:
EXAMPLES OF TABLES AND MAPS
Users looking for ideas on how to use and present the CHAS data may find the short set of examples in this file to be helpful: interesting tables.pdf (221 KB)
CDBG LOW/MOD AREA DATA
The CHAS data should not be confused with the data provided by HUD on what areas qualify as low-and moderate-income under the CDBG program. Those areas are identified using the Census SF3 data. To download those data, go to this website: CDBG low/mod area data.
OTHER SPECIAL TABULATIONS OF CENSUS 1990 AND 2000 DATA
The Economic and Market Analysis Division (EMAD) "Special Tabulations" data retrieval system produces tabular statistical summaries of counts of households by tenure, by income intervals, by age of householder, by size of household, by housing conditions based on the 1990 and 2000 Census, for select geographic areas in the United States. This system allows a user to extract data to conduct a longitudinal analysis of changes in a particular area. To query for data on your community: https://www.huduser.gov/datasets/spectabs.html
AMERICAN HOUSING SURVEY DATA
For a select set of metropolitan areas and their larger cities, the American Housing Survey provides a comprehensive set of data on housing needs, including housing adequacy (which CHAS and Census data are not very useful). See if your community is included: https://www.huduser.gov/datasets/ahs.html
DATA ON ASSISTED HOUSING
Data on the location and characteristics of Assisted Housing Residents is available from the following site: https://www.huduser.gov/datasets/assthsg.html
In addition, approved PHA 5-year and Annual Plans, which serve as a comprehensive guide to public housing agency (PHA) policies, programs, operations, and strategies for meeting local housing needs and goals, can be downloaded from the following site: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/approved/index.cfm
CHAS refers to the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy required as part of the National Affordability Housing Act of 1991. The CHAS is now a component of the Consolidated Plan.
HAMFI stands for HUD Area Median Family Income. The HAMFI income limits are calculated annually. The Income Limits for the CHAS 2000 tables reflect what the Income Limits would have been in 1999 if Census 2000 data had been available to calculate those limits. You can download the base income limit file in Excel format.
Consolidated Plan preparers may find the following HUD Policy Development and Research publications useful as they develop their plans:
Planning to Meet Local Housing Needs: The Roles of HUD’s Consolidated Planning Requirements in the 1990s. (2002) This publication reviews how large central cities and suburban jurisdictions in six metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and San Francisco) — with very diverse housing markets — undertook housing needs analyses, set priorities, and developed housing plan strategies during the 1990s. It then examines what actually was carried out during that time period and how local needs for affordable housing changed.
Using Your HOME Dollars for Rental Production: A Planning Paper for Local Policy Makers. (2004) This paper is intended to help local officials think about how to use their HOME dollars for the production of affordable rental housing. The paper provides a framework for decisionmaking by housing planners and program administrators in the local communities that receive allocations of federal dollars each year under the HOME Investment Partnership Program. It is based on research and theory about where and for whom the development of subsidized rental housing is most effective. The paper draws on an extensive literature review and empirical analysis conducted for HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research in 2003 and early 2004 (See also Targeting Housing Production Subsidies: Literature Review (2003).
Study of Homebuyer Activity through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. (2004) This study was designed to examine the choices local governments are making and how these choices are promoting long-term affordable homeownership.
Strategies for Reducing Chronic Street Homelessness. (2004) HUD sponsored this project to identify and describe community-wide approaches that are working in cities around the country.
Publications on Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. This partial list of publications addresses issues and concerns surrounding regulatory barriers to affordable housing.
This partial list of publications addresses issues and concerns surrounding regulatory barriers to affordable housing.
Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis. For numerous MSAs, HUD economists develop a factual framework based on information available, as of a particular date, from both local and national sources. Each analysis takes into consideration changes in the economic, demographic, and housing inventory characteristics of a specific housing market area during three periods: from 1990 to 2000, from 2000 to the as-of date of the analysis, and from the as-of date to a forecast date. The reports present counts and estimates of employment, population, households, and housing inventory.
U.S. Housing Market Conditions, published quarterly, is a compilation of statistical data and written reports. Tabular data indicate market conditions on the national level and are presented for each quarter. Historical data are also presented in summary tables. Overviews of economic and housing market trends are presented for 10 geographical regions, the report for each of which includes a profile on a selected housing market. Each issue includes a summary of the overall trends in national housing and a topical piece that describes a particular, noteworthy aspect of housing activity.
Building the Organizations That Build Communities: Strengthening the Capacity of Faith- and Community-Based Development Organizations. (2004) This volume documents current thinking on the issue of capacity and a clearer view of the research gaps facing faith-based and community development organizations.
The Impact of CDBG Spending on Urban Neighborhoods. (2002) This study examines whether readily available data sources can be used to track the outcomes of activities funded with CDBG. The study concludes that two readily available data elements — the median home loan amount and the number of businesses—hold some promise as tools for helping local communities measure the effects of concentrated CDBG expenditures.
Barriers to Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing. (2001) This study examines the major barriers to urban rehabilitation. The project's research team reviewed relevant literature, conducted case studies, and convened study groups of highly-qualified real estate developers, nonprofit leaders, architects and other professional who face barriers to affordable housing rehabilitation in their "real world" experiences.
Center for Community Change Studies On Local Economic Development Strategies. These four studies detail strategies that have shown marked success in producing and maintaining economic opportunities and jobs and also in making them available to people with low incomes. A summary of the four reports is also available: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/econdev/summary.html.
Resident Assessment of Housing Quality: Lessons from Pilot Surveys. (1998) Planners interested in conducting their own mail survey of local housing quality needs may find this study useful.
Preparers of PHA Plans may find the following publications useful:
Voucher Homeownership Assessment. (2003) This study is an assessment of the early implementation of the Voucher Homeownership Program. The purpose of this study is to provide insight into aspects of the program that are working well and those that are problematic.
Costs and Utilization in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. (2003) This study is intended to provide insights into the factors that affect Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program utilization rates and costs in a sample of sites nationwide.
Tools and Strategies for Improving Community Relations in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. (2001) This study explores the factors that lead to community dissatisfaction with HCVP and to assess the effectiveness of strategies employed by PHAs to eliminate or alleviate community concerns.
Housing Choice Voucher Location Patterns: Implications For Participant And Neighborhood Welfare. (2003) The purpose of this study is to describe where HCV assistance is being used and whether program participants have access to a broad range of affordable housing. The study examines some of HCV's possible impacts on program participants and the neighborhoods in which they live.
The Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Interim Impacts Evaluation (2003) provides insights into what benefits can be achieved by improving the neighborhoods of poor families. The Moving to Opportunity program provided thousands of poor adults and children an opportunity to use HUD vouchers to move out of public housing in high poverty neighborhoods to lower poverty neighborhoods. Using rigorous scientific methods, this study looks at the impact these moves have had on housing, health, employment, education, mobility, welfare receipt, and delinquency.
Quality Control for Rental Assistance Subsidies Determinations. (2001) The study found that substantial errors were being made in the income and rent determinations that set the subsidies HUD pay on behalf of families who receive public housing and Section 8 program assistance.
Preparers of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) may find these publications useful:
Analysis of State Qualified Allocation Plans for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (2002). Based on their QAP, states establish preferences and set-asides within their tax credit competitions so as to target the credits towards specific places (such as rural areas) or types of people (such as elderly households). This study examines how those preferences and set-asides were used and changed based on content analysis of 1990 and 2000 Qualified Allocation Plans from nearly every state along with discussions with the staff that prepared the plans.
Making the Best Use of Your LIHTC Dollars: A Planning Paper for State Policy Makers. (2004) This paper is intended to help state officials think about how to make strategic use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which since the late 1980s has been the primary vehicle for building or rehabilitating housing with rents affordable to low income families and individuals. The paper provides a framework for state decision-making, based on research and theory about where and for whom the development of subsidized rental housing is most effective.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: National Survey of Property Owners (2000) presents the results of a national telephone survey of those who developed and own tax-credit properties placed in service between 1992 and 1994. The survey was conducted to learn more about owners' development objectives, the performance of their properties, and what they intend to do with the properties when the compliance period is over.