Behind the Section 8 Ball:
DO ATTEMPT AT HOME
how to do it
- Find your local HUD office and request a summary of Section 8 households by census tract
- Click here for HUD public affairs national and regional offices
- Expect trouble and delays. Insist on a county identifier with the tract numbers.
- Expect some old census tract numbers from 1990 or 2000 and handle them.
- Use occupied housing units as a denominator. Consider the possibility that new construction or demolition could be a factor
- Also get Census demographics to gauge minority population, and rental % to gauge availability of affordable housing stock.
putting it all together
- Mapping tracts is crucial to see patterns and identify tract locations. You can do it in Fusion Tab les
- You may find tract maps on Fusion Tables, otherwise the Census has shapefiles here and KML files here
- To make tracts more identifiable, find as many place names as possible. I used the University of Missouri's geocorrespondence engine here
- Don't forget to include all tracts in your analysis. The ones with no Section 8 housing are important
- Find majority-minority tracts and see what percentage of housing falls in those tracts.
- Places with few rentals and little Section 8 may be discouraging affordable housing
- Are there places with lots of rentals but little Section 8? What's up with that?
- Where are the highest proportions of Section 8 housing?
INVESTIGATING SUBSIDIZED HOUSING
By Tim Henderson