A Picture of Subsidized Households General Description of the Data with Bibliography
This report does not cover other types of subsidy, such as Rehabilitation grants, Homesteading, the Farmers Home Administration, etc. The database here is a diamond mine (or a coal mine?) of facts about HUD subsidies. This report only scratches its surface, and points out various topics that can be explored.
General Description of the Data
Subsidized Housing Units Available % Occupied % Reported % Moved in during Past Year Average People per Unit U.S. Total 4,814,983 75 12 2.3 Indian Housing 67,744 48 9 3.7 Public Housing 1,326,224 90 80 10 2.4 S.8 Certificates+Vouchers 1,346,306 74 14 2.7 S.8 Moderate Rehab. 105,845 62 16 2.3 S.8 New+Substantial Rehabilitation 897,160 76 11 1.6 S.236 447,382 73 15 2.1 Other Subsidy 292,237 65 15 2.4 Housing Tax Credit 332,085
This report does not cover other types of subsidy, such as Rehabilitation grants, Homesteading, the Farmers Home Administration, etc.
The database here is a diamond mine (or a coal mine?) of facts about HUD subsidies. This report only scratches its surface, and points out various topics that can be explored.
Note: Blank means data not available
Occupancy rates are only collected for Public Housing. We assume plausible levels of occupancy in other programs for purposes of calculating the completeness of reporting.
Overall reporting is 73% of occupied units (so we have 27% missing data). Public Housing, Certificates+Vouchers, Section 8 New, and Section 236 have the highest reporting, from 73–80%. The smaller programs range from 48% to 65% complete. In Tax Credits, no reporting is required.
On another aspect of completeness, we believe this count of Tax Credit units placed in service is fairly complete. There are estimates that over 600,000 Tax Credit units have been allocated, but for this report the appropriate figure is the number of unit s that have been placed in service, given above.
Some of the households counted above in Section 236 projects have incomes high enough to pay full rent, without subsidy. These households are not reported to HUD and their characteristics are not included in this report.
Sizes range from 1.6 people per unit in Section 8 New projects, to 3.7 people per unit in Indian Housing. This variation is related to age: programs with smaller household sizes have more elderly, as shown on the next page.
Total People Served
We can multiply housing units times the average people per unit to find the total number of people served by the programs: about 11 million.
Rent, Income, and Age of Head of Household
|Rent per Month||Household Income||Majority of Income is from:||Income Mix: % of Average Income||Age of Head or Spouse, whichever is older|
|Average ($000s)||% $1–4,999||% $1–9,999||% $20,000 or More||% Wages + Business||% Welfare||% Under 25||% 25–44||% 45–61||% 62 or More||% 85 or More|
|S.8 Certificates+ Vouchers||197||8.7||20||71||4||26||28||61||9||56||18||17||2|
|S.8 Moderate Rehab.||160||7.2||30||80||2||24||31||66||18||47||18||17||2|
|S.8 New+ Substant.Rehab.||182||8.6||12||72||2||13||10||51||7||22||11||60||9|
|Housing Tax Credit||No data available; reporting is not required|
| Rent and Income|
Average rents range very narrowly from $160 per month in Moderate Rehabilitation projects to $197 per month in Certificates+Vouchers. Rents in Indian Housing do not mirror their relatively higher incomes, since most Indian Housing is Mutual Ownership, with a distinct calculation for household cost. The calculations are shown on the data collection form (50058).
Incomes range from $7,200 per year in Moderate Rehabilitation to $16,000 per year in Indian Housing. If we divide by average household size, income per person ranges from $3,100 in Moderate Rehabilitation and $3,200 in Certificates+Vouchers, to $5,300 in Section 8 New. The lowest averages of income per person are in the programs with most welfare recipients. Welfare here includes only Aid to Families with Dependent Children and General Assistance.
Income mix is expressed as a percent of the average income. The larger the percent, the more income mix there is.(1) These figures reflect the spread of incomes across the country, including high and low income areas. The mix is usually narrower in any one project or neighborhood.(2) The national income mix is relatively wider in Public and Indian Housing and in the 'Other Subsidy' projects. These programs serve a wide range of incomes across the country. The mix is narrowest in Section 8 New, where most households are elderly, living on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); these incomes vary little between or within projects. Some Section 8, Section 236, and 'Other Subsidy' projects have unsubsidized households, who are not counted in this report, and extend the income mix. The surroundings of Certificates+Vouchers likewise include unsubsidized higher income households. Figures include different household sizes, without adjustment, so some mix is due to larger households typically having (and needing) more income than smaller households.
Age of Head
Section 8 New has by far the highest concentration of elderly at 60%. Public Housing and Section 236 are next at 33–35%, and the other programs are 16–23%. It may be noted that 5% of subsidized households (about 230,000) have a head or spouse age 85 or older, which gerontologists term the 'very old.'
Disabilities, Minorities, and Number of Bedrooms
|Head or Spouse has Disability||% Minority||% Black||% Hispanic||% Native American||% Asian or Pacific Islander||Average Difference between Agency & Project (in % Minority)||Number of Bedrooms|
|As % of under 62||As % of 62 or More||0||1||2||3 or more|
|S.8 Certificates+ Vouchers||21||38||54||36||15||1||2||13||2||22||42||33|
|S.8 Moderate Rehab.||21||38||63||40||21||1||2||13||28||41||17|
|S.8 New+ Substant.Rehab.||34||36||23||10||0||2||7||64||20||9|
|Housing Tax Credit||No data available; reporting is not required||4||40||42||14|
There are large numbers of people with disabilities in some programs. Overall a fifth of the non-elderly have disabilities. Also, a fifth to two-fifths of the elderly have disabilities, but this is not necessarily surprising; many of us develop disabiliti es as we age. The definition includes mental and physical disabilities; for a summary of the definition, see the last page of form 50058.
Overall, 56% of households are minorities (38% Black, 14% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 3% Native American). Indian Housing, of course, is almost entirely minority (for a recent description of Indian Housing see Kingsley et al 1996). The lowest minority rate, 36%, is in Section 8 New projects.
The Average Difference column measures separation between minority and white subsidized households. The larger the number, the more separately subsidized whites & minorities live from each other. The scale is from 0 to 50. It is a broad indicator, and more detailed analysis with individual racial and ethnic groups can be done (Goering et al 1995).
For each Public Housing project, 'Average Difference' is the difference between: (a) % minority for the project and (b) overall % minority for Public Housing at the agency. We average the figures from each project to have a total for each agency, state or other area.(3) Averages for states and the United States exclude agencies with under 5% or over 95% minority, or only one project, since differences are not meaningful in such agencies.
In Public Housing, households are assigned to projects by the housing agency.(4) Thus, racial differences would not be expected in projects, except by chance, or by households of one race moving out of or refusing to move into particular projects . The 13% national figure is a mix of random variation in some agencies, current practices, and past segregation patterns.(5) It may be useful in reviewing a particular agency to notice whether its figure is above or below this national average, but no particular figure proves discrimination. Particular practices at individual agencies need to be studied before any conclusions can be drawn.
For Certificates+Vouchers, which do not have projects, 'Average Difference' is based on the location of subsidized households in Census tracts: For each Census tract we take the difference between: (a) % minority among Certificate+Voucher holders in the tract and (b) overall % minority among Certificate+Voucher holders at the agency. For averages we exclude tracts with 10 or fewer households reported, since tracts with so few subsidized households have little chance of matching the agency average. Averages for states and the United States also exclude agencies with under 5% or over 95% minority, or only one tract, since differences are not meaningful in such agencies.
This average difference is not the difference between subsidized households and the whole tract, but that can easily be calculated, since the tract's % minority is shown near the end of the record (and summarized in the next table). The difference shown above is the difference between subsidized households in the tract and subsidized households in the agency.
The average difference happens to be 13 points in both Public Housing and Certificates+Vouchers, but this does not mean the programs operate in the same manner. As the next table shows, Certificate+Voucher holders live in neighborhoods with many fewer minorities than Public Housing tenants: 35% minority on average, compared to 63%. The measure on the table above is different: Minority and white Certificate+Voucher holders live in different neighborhoods from each other to some degree. This difference reflects that households often lived in racially disparate neighborhoods before they applied to the programs. Some stayed in place. Others moved, but not far (Léger and Kennedy 1990). Thus, the minority and white subsidized households do not end up equally distributed in the same neighborhoods as each other. We do know from the next table that Certificate+Voucher holders end up in more integrated neighborhoods than Public Housing tenants. But there is still a difference in the locations of white and minority Certificate+Voucher holders.
The minority difference is limited by the percent minority in the agency: for example some large agencies are nearly all minority and can only have small differences. An agency that is 5% or 95% minority can have an average difference as high as 9.5, while an agency that is 20% or 80% minority can have an average difference as high as 32. A 50% minority agency can have an average difference as high as 50.
One could use numerous other statistics to summarize racial differences among projects or Census tracts.
Social, Financial, and Neighborhood Characteristics
|% Both Spouses and Children||% No Spouse, with Children||% Female Head||% Over-housed: More Bedrooms than People||% with $5,000 in Assets||Their Average Assets ($000s)||% with Utility Allowance||Their Average Utility Allowance||Average Years since Moved in||Average Months on Waiting List||Surrounding Census Tracts|
|% in Poverty||% Minority||% Single Family Owners|
|S.8 Certificates+ Vouchers||9||56||83||9||1||23||88||82||25||19||36||43|
|S.8 Moderate Rehab.||7||49||75||5||1||22||78||72||11||28||51||32|
|S.8 New+ Substant.Rehab.||4||19||77||3||16||30||67||49||5||20||34||36|
|Housing Tax Credit||No data available; reporting is not required||21||37||40|
There is some variety among the programs in social items. Couples with children are not common, except in Indian Housing, since they tend to have more income than elderly and single parents. The first two columns above can be added to count all households with children. These figures are based on age, so they include foster children, nephews, grandchildren; anyone under 18. Female heads are common, since they include most households with no spouse present, as well as most elderly. The extent of over-housing may limit access for large households. It results partly from households that are not relocated to smaller units when their children grow up and leave.
Assets over $5,000 are taken into account in setting rent. They are not common except in Section 8 New, with its many elderly households. Utility allowances are given when individual metering and billing are used, so they show the extent of individual metering. The size of the allowance is estimated by each Housing Agency to reflect typical bills. Households may actually spend more or less.
Length of Stay and Wait
For some programs we have length of time since the household moved in. It averages 6 years, with little variation. The average total stay of households, until they move out or die, is twice this span, or 12 years.(6) Time on waiting lists varies more than length of stay, from 10 months in Public Housing, to 25 months in Certificates+Vouchers. This is the average waiting time for people moving in, who tend to be in the higher priority categories ('preferences'), which give them the shortest waits. The average wait for people remaining on the waiting list may be longer. Neighborhoods To describe the neighborhoods of these households, we show three measures of the Census tracts surrounding them. A Census tract is an area averaging 1,500 homes, chosen by local communities in cooperation with the Census Bureau, as an area that is somewhat homogeneous socioeconomically. In low density areas Census tracts cover large land areas, so they are broader than the common idea of a neighborhood. The figures on the Census tract include the subsidized households there, so large projects can dominate or overwhelm the neighborhood figures. Tax Credit projects return to the discussion here, since we do have their addresses, and can describe their neighborhoods, even though they do not have to report on their occupants. On average in the neighborhoods of most of the subsidy programs, 19–28% of households have incomes below the poverty limit, except in neighborhoods of Public Housing, which average 38%. There is more range in neighborhood minority rates, from 34–40% minority for Section 8 New, Certificates+Vouchers, Tax Credits, and Section 236, to 63% minority in the neighborhoods of Public Housing projects. To provide a different view of these neighborhoods, we show the percent of households in the neighborhood that own single family homes. The extremes are a low of 25% for Public Housing neighborhoods, and highs of 40–43% for Tax Credit and Certificate+Voucher neighborhoods.
To describe the neighborhoods of these households, we show three measures of the Census tracts surrounding them. A Census tract is an area averaging 1,500 homes, chosen by local communities in cooperation with the Census Bureau, as an area that is somewhat homogeneous socioeconomically. In low density areas Census tracts cover large land areas, so they are broader than the common idea of a neighborhood. The figures on the Census tract include the subsidized households there, so large projects can dominate or overwhelm the neighborhood figures. Tax Credit projects return to the discussion here, since we do have their addresses, and can describe their neighborhoods, even though they do not have to report on their occupants.
On average in the neighborhoods of most of the subsidy programs, 19–28% of households have incomes below the poverty limit, except in neighborhoods of Public Housing, which average 38%. There is more range in neighborhood minority rates, from 34–40% minority for Section 8 New, Certificates+Vouchers, Tax Credits, and Section 236, to 63% minority in the neighborhoods of Public Housing projects.
To provide a different view of these neighborhoods, we show the percent of households in the neighborhood that own single family homes. The extremes are a low of 25% for Public Housing neighborhoods, and highs of 40–43% for Tax Credit and Certificate+Voucher neighborhoods.
Number of Subsidized Units by Percent Poor in Tract
|Total||Up to 9% Poor||10-19% Poor||20-29% Poor||30-39% Poor||40% or more|
|Housing Tax Credit||252,000||63,000||78,000||46,000||32,000||34,000|
Number of Subsidized Units by Percent Minority in Tract
|Total||Up to 19% Minority||20-39% Minority||40-59% Minority||60-79% Minority||80% or more Minority|
|Housing Tax Credit||252,000||113,000||42,000||26,000||22,000||49,000|
| Distribution of Neighborhoods|
These two tables count the subsidized households by some characteristics of their tracts. Note that the total units are lower than in other tables, since we lack some addresses and cannot put them into tracts.
The first table confirms that much Public Housing is in tracts with high poverty rates, as mentioned on the previous page. Other programs tend to be in less poor tracts.
Similarly Public Housing tends to be in minority tracts. 'Other Subsidies' are in minority tracts almost as much, but the remaining programs tend to be in tracts with fewer minorities.
Total Number of Subsidized Units by Concentration in Tract
|Total Subsidized Units||Subsidized Units Have:||Their Tracts Have:*|
|Average Income||% Elderly||% Minority||% Minority||% Poor|
|Total Subsidized are:||3,563,000||$8,921||34||55||44||25|
|Up to 9% of Tract||1,488,000||$8,788||32||42||27||16|
|10-19% of Tract||904,000||$8,816||38||51||40||22|
|20-29% of Tract||376,000||$8,804||36||62||54||29|
|30-39% of Tract||208,000||$8,587||32||72||62||34|
|40-49% of Tract||145,000||$9,009||31||78||70||40|
|50% or more||442,000||$9,796||31||87||85||51|
| *Weighted average, weighted by the number of subsidized units present|
The data file has a summary record for each Census tract. There are about 61,000 Census tracts in the country, with a 1990 population of 250 million. Subsidized housing is in about 45,000 Census tracts, with a 1990 population of 200 million. Many of these tracts have no subsidized projects, and only a few Certificates+Vouchers, which households can take to any unit with a moderate rent. Even Certificates+Vouchers are fairly concentrated, because of households' preferences, and a lack of transportation and child care to permit a wide search in a reasonable time. The reports show some of this concentration: they show the tracts with the most subsidized units. The data file allows one to compare all tracts, with and without various kinds of subsidies.
We have tallied subsidized units by some of the characteristics of their tracts. Note that, as on the previous page, the total units are lower than in other tables, and some statistics differ, since we lack some addresses and cannot place them in tracts. Furthermore this table, like all tables in the report, is based on the public summary file, so it does not have data where few households were reported, and data were suppressed. The rate of concentration ranges widely as a percent of the homes in the tract, but the median subsidized unit is in a tract that is 12% subsidized.
Incomes and ages of subsidized households do not vary consistently based on the level of subsidy concentration in the tract. However the highest incomes are in the most concentrated tracts. These tend to be in large cities, where incomes of subsidized households tend to be higher than average. The oldest households are in tracts where 10–29% of households are subsidized (perhaps reflecting the presence of small elderly projects).
Minority and poverty rates vary more. Minorities tend to be in tracts with high concentrations of subsidized housing: there are high minority rates both in the subsidized housing and in the tract as a whole when subsidy concentration is high. Also the tracts with a lot of subsidized housing tend to have high poverty rates (as expected, since subsidized units are included in the poverty count for the tract, and raise the poverty rate).
The following table shows similar data, with the point of view changed, from the perspective of subsidized units, to the perspective of the total population of these Census tracts. Eighty percent of people in the United States live in Census tracts where there is some subsidized housing.
Total U.S. Population by Concentration of Subsidized Units
|Total People||Their Tracts Have:*|
|% Minority||% Poor|
|Total Subsidized are:||248,706,000||24||13|
|Not in Tract||49,321,000||18||10|
|Up to 9% of Tract||175,400,000||23||13|
|10-19% of Tract||16,572,000||41||22|
|20-29% of Tract||3,857,000||56||30|
|30-39% of Tract||1,444,000||65||34|
|40-49% of Tract||799,000||73||40|
|50% or more||1,313,000||85||51|
| *Weighted average, weighted by the total population present, subsidized or not |
Number of Agencies and Projects by Size of Agency
|Number of Agencies||Number of Projects||# Tracts|
|Indian Housing||Public Housing||Certificates + Vouchers||Indian Housing||Public Housing||Certificates + Vouchers|
|1-99 Total Units in HA||45||1,190||493||163||1,760||2,192|
|100-299 Units in HA||66||850||736||538||2,304||6,306|
|300-499 Units in HA||30||375||414||456||1,462||5,970|
|500-999 Units in HA||21||358||423||459||1,747||10,150|
|1,000-2,999 Units in HA||11||210||240||395||1,596||9,697|
|3,000-4,999 Units in HA||3||143||171||189||1,843||13,757|
|5,000-9,999 Units in HA||1||39||45||200||1,043||6,390|
|10,000-29,999 Units in HA||22||27||958||7,337|
|30,000+ Units in HA||5||5||824||1,930|
| Size of Agency|
The body of the report shows the number of subsidized housing units and their characteristics by size of agency. The table above counts the number of agencies and projects. There are relatively few large agencies, but they have most of the units.
Where one agency has more than one numeric code, we count it only once, but other publications may count each code separately. Also we count agencies based on total units in all programs. If they were grouped by the number of units in any one program, there would be fewer large agencies and more small ones.
Number of Subsidized Units and Projects by Size of Project
|1-49 Subsidized Units||50-99 Subsidized Units||100-199 Subsidized Units||200-499 Subsidized Units||500-999 Subsidized Units||1,000 or More Subsidized Units|
|Number of Projects||48,057||26,382||11,210||7,648||2,480||261||76|
|Number of Projects||2,350||1,976||321||48||5|
|Number of Projects||13,493||6,136||3,498||2,418||1,151||217||73|
|Number of Projects||15,179||8,303||3,966||2,494||410||4||2|
|Number of Projects||4,224||958||1,377||1,387||487||14||1|
|Number of Projects||3,367||1,187||1,128||781||255||16|
|Housing Tax Credit||332,000||145,000||63,000||72,000||46,000||6,000|
|Number of Projects||9,445||7,823||920||520||172||10|
| Size of Projects|
Most projects are small, under 50 units. But most units are in larger projects, those with 100 or more units. The smallest projects are common in all programs, while the very largest projects are primarily in Public Housing. This table omits the 95 Public and Indian projects in the data file with zero units, since they are usually not really separate projects.
|Unique Projects||Actual Project Records||Total Units||Subsidized Units||*LMSA/RAPSUP Units|
|S.8 New & Sub. Rehab. Projects||9,843||10,102||649,840||645,824||1,315|
|New & Sub. Rehab. Units||644,509|
|Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR)||1,049||1,700||102,872||102,872||47,183|
|LMSA, not 236 nor BMIR||1,505||3,141||112,132||112,132||112,132|
|LMSA, hard to classify||175||175||9,417||9,417||9,417|
| * LMSA/RAPSUP = Loan Management Set-Aside, Rental Assistance Program, and Rent Supplements|
Privately owned projects in some programs can have multiple subsidies. This table shows how we have categorized the subsidy records at HUD, matching on FHA and Section 8 project numbers to avoid double-counting. The number of subsidized units here is slightly less than in other tables, since active projects in the files with zero units are counted as zero here, but their size is estimated for other tables.
Most LMSA/RAPSUP units are in Section 236 and BMIR projects, which are subsidized anyway. The remainder are added to the subsidized count. A few can even be in Section 8 New projects, where Section 8 only subsidizes part of the project, and LMSA can be provided to help the other units if the project runs into difficulty.
There is still a limited amount of double-counting in the figures, since Vouchers may be used in Section 236 projects, and Section 8 may be used in Tax Credit projects, and we do not yet subtract out the overlap.
Largest 12 Housing Agencies
|Units Available||% Occupied||% Reported||Average Rent||Average Income ($000s)||% Mainly Wages||% Mainly Welfare||% Age 62 or More||Disabilities as % of under 62||% Minority||% Black||% Hispanic||% No Spouse, with Children||Years since Moved in||Months on Waiting List||Census Tracts|
|% in Poverty||% Minority|
|New York City HA NY 005 (215,362 units)||Public||157,229||98||86||302||13.0||29||6||34||27||93||53||37||17||34||40||89|
|Puerto Rico State Agency RQ 901 (64,945 units)||Public||57,288||97||58||47||3.1||35||21||21||8||99||0||99||40||20|
|Chicago HA IL 004 (57,657 units)||Public||40,949||80||36||67||91|
|Los Angeles City CA 004 (37,848 units)||Public||9,219||96||90||218||9.9||27||49||12||9||98||32||62||75||6||23||44||91|
|Philadelphia HA PA 002 (31,989 units) (7)||Public||22,672||71||26|
|Baltimore City MD 002 (25,690 units)||Public||18,053||86||96||168||7.6||17||29||33||18||94||92||0||43||11||27||49||85|
|NY State Agency NY 902 (22,209 units)||C+V||20,585||99||240||10.0||29||22||21||26||35||23||12||47||25||16||27|
|Miami/Dade FL 005 (20,653 units)||Public||11,475||81||99||154||7.1||14||22||43||24||98||64||34||43||7||21|
|Atlanta GA 006 (20,443 units)||Public||14,461||75||72||134||6.5||15||33||30||4||95||92||2||48||9||60||90|
|Cleveland/Cuyahoga OH 003 (20,363 units)||Public||12,005||67||79||141||6.5||9||31||30||29||87||83||3||31||6||18||64||81|
|Boston HA MA 002 (19,505 units)||Public||12,777||79||34|
|New Orleans LA 001 (17,863 units)||Public||13,694||71||59||105||5.3||18||46||12||13||99||99||0||69||13||16||79||99|