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American Housing Survey

The American Housing Survey (AHS) is a longitudinal housing unit survey conducted biennially in odd-numbered years. It provides current information on a wide range of housing subjects, including size and composition of the nation's housing inventory, vacancies, physical condition of housing units, characteristics of occupants, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, mortgages and other housing costs, persons eligible for and beneficiaries of assisted housing, home values, and characteristics of recent movers.

Sample Selection and Size

The same basic sample of housing units are interviewed every two years until a new sample is selected. The sample is updated by adding newly constructed housing units and units discovered through coverage improvement efforts. A housing unit is a house, apartment, manufactured/mobile home, group of rooms, or even a single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.

Survey Coverage

AHS is published for the United States and for selected metro areas, referred to as AHS Areas in American Factfinder. A few of the metropolitan areas in the AHS deviate from the official (2010) Office of Management and Budget definitions because of the longitudinal nature of the survey.

Sponsoring agency and legal authorities

HUD sponsors the survey under the authority of Title 12, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1701z-1, 1701z-2(g), and 1701z-10a. The U.S. Census Bureau performs the work under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Section 8. Title 13 U.S.C., Section 9 requires us to keep all information collected strictly confidential.