Data Notes

Data Notes

The National Housing Preservation Database provides users with the best assumption of subsidy status based on nationally available data sources. The accuracy, format, completion, and frequency of update for each data source vary by program. Data for Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) and HUD Insured subsidies update monthly, while all other subsidy programs update once a year or less. Programs primarily tracked at the local level such as Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) subsidies often have insufficient information to determine subsidy status at the national level. For instance, LIHTC subsidies can be kept affordable by state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) despite passing their extended use period or being listed as non-programmatic in HUD's LIHTC Database. Additionally, the true subsidy end date is not available for Section 515 subsidies and the Restrictive Expiration Clause expiration date is used instead. Therefore, it is possible that many Section 515 subsidies will be active beyond their listed subsidy end date in the database.

Each record in the database describes a property. While each property can consist of multiple buildings and addresses, only the first address listed is displayed in the database. This hinders searches by property address. Searching for individual property addresses can be particularly challenging for public housing properties. Public housing properties are reported in Asset Management Projects (AMPs), which tend to be larger groups of buildings that can be scattered among a larger area than other subsidy programs.

When analyzing properties with nearing latest subsidy expiration dates, it is important to look at the type and number of subsidies attached to the property to assess the severity of the risk of loss. Affordability restrictions for PBRA subsidies are usually for periods of five years or less and are frequently renewed. When these subsidies renew, the subsidy start and end date is replaced with the new subsidy start and end date. Therefore, earliest subsidy start date cannot be used to approximate when a property was built or adopted affordability restrictions. Additionally, LIHTC subsidies are assumed to have a 15-year use period. If the LIHTC subsidy is still listed as programmatic in the LIHTC Database, it is assumed to have entered an extended use contract and will have an additional 15 years added to the subsidy end date.

The number of active subsidies can change over time as the format of data files change, subsidy programs expand or are phased out, and as the logic applied to determine subsidy status is updated. Changes in the number of active subsidies and factors that affect the comparability of data over time are noted for each data refresh. Since a property can be funded by multiple subsidies, the number of active subsidies should not be used to determine the total number of assisted properties.

Data Refresh February 2016

The February 2016 refresh incorporated 10 data file updates, which led to a significant change in the number of total active subsidies. The number of active Home Investment Partnership (HOME), Section 202, and Section 515 subsidies changed significantly because the data for both of these programs was outdated by more than three years. This refresh incorporated new subsidies that have been awarded or terminated during this time. Additionally, the HOME data used previously did not include subsidies awarded to properties with less than five units. The number of Section 202 Direct Loans decreased significantly because some owners prepaid their mortgages and there were no new Section 202 Direct Loans awarded. Section 202 assistance is now awarded through rental assistance contracts, which are tracked under the Section 8 PBRA program.

 Subsidy Type Before Refresh After Refresh Change
Section 8 PBRA* 21,733 21,574 -1%
Section 202 Direct Loans** 2,231 1,721 -23%
State HFA 236 214 206 -4%
HUD Insured* 5,551 5,826 5%
LIHTC* 34,220 37,865 11%
HOME** 6,451 20,639 220%
Section 515** 10,877 14,719 35%
Section 538 422 424 0%
Public Housing** 6,813 6,890 1%
Total 90,218 109,864 22%

*Data updated (previous data outdated by less than one year)

**Data updated (previous data outdated by more than one year)

Data Refresh February 2015

The February 2015 data refresh incorporated five new data files, an update to the logic used to determine which HUD Insurance programs would be included in the database, and an update on how LIHTC subsidy status is calculated. Previously, all properties that were HUD Insured were included in the database. During this refresh, selected HUD Insurance programs that are not affiliated with affordable rental housing were excluded from the database. This change resulted in a reduction of the number of active units in the database by one million. For a list of HUD programs included in the database, see the Data Dictionary.

Additionally, LIHTC subsidies listed as non-programmatic in the LIHTC Database were reclassified as inactive, which resulted in a significant reduction in the number of active LIHTC subsidies.

 Subsidy Type Before Refresh After Refresh Change
Section 8 PBRA* 21,227 21,733 2%
Section 202 Direct Loans 2,266 2,231 -2%
State HFA 236 228 214 -6%
HUD Insured* 13,964 5,551 -60%
LIHTC* 37,184 34,220 -8%
HOME 6,595 6,451 -2%
Section 515 11,001 10,877 -1%
Section 538 422 422 0%
Public Housing 6,813 6,813 0%
Total 101,407 90,218 -11%

*Data updated (previous data outdated by less than one year)