Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Housing Statistics Users Group

For those who are interested in indicators around housing, the Housing Statistucs Users Group is a group of government agencies, private companies and non-profit organizations in the Washington D.C. area who meet 3-4 times per year and are sharing what they talk about with the larger indicators community. Here's an update from their April 2007 meeting, provided by way of the NNIP listserve:


Presentation by Jeffrey Passel, Pew Hispanic Center on Immigration & Housing: Numbers, Trends & Outlook. For more information visit: .

HUD Aggregated USPS Administrative Data on Address Vacancies:

  • HUD has a new agreement with USPS that will provide them on a quarterly basis with data about the number of addresses (aggregated to census tract level), the total vacant addresses, and the total "no-stat" address (new construction, rural long-term vacancy, or other not likely to be active for some time). HUD will also report the number of days and an address has been in each category (starting Nov. '05).
  • This data has never really been analyzed and one potential advantage of this data is that it will be accessible only a few days after the end of each quarter so that one can have nearly real-time knowledge of vacancies.
  • Data is available on and they are looking feedback on the data and recommendations for what types of aggregate data would be beneficial.

Other Topics:

Data Developments @ HUD:

  • Survey of Market Absorption and Survey of Manufactured Housing Placement got funding for FY07 and hopefully will continue in future years.
  • 2007 AHS is officially in the fields and will include the metro areas and national survey at the same time. A new survey instrument is being used which is windows based, therefore quality control is expected to take longer. National data is expected to be available on 8/2008 and metro data by the end of 2008.
  • CINCH and Rental Dynamics Reports for the 2005 survey should be available on the HUD site soon.
  • FY07 area median income data has been published and is up on the web.
Federal Statistics Update: Ed Spar: Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS)

Census Update: Housing Unit Based Research Team (HUBRT) investigating the possibility of using housing unit based population estimates instead of the current use of administrative data to come up with county population estimates.
  • ACS: Proposed revisions to the 2008 ACS are coming out next month for comments and will include questions about health insurance coverage, veteran status and marital history. ACS 5 year averages data is available to study what happens to the 5 year averages in the 30 test counties.
  • National Center for Health Statistics: will be flat funded once again. They are considering eliminating one month of collection of vital statistics (i.e. Births/deaths) due to lack of funds.


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