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American Housing Survey (AHS)
Old 05-17-2015, 10:49 PM   #1
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American Housing Survey (AHS)

Our address was selected and I am trying to research this survey conducted by the Census Bureau every 2 years via HUD. Got the letter a couple of days before taking off on vacation and the rep showed up this evening (DH and I are half asleep as we got back late last night). DH and i hadn't had a chance to discuss participation which is voluntary, so the rep is to call us Weds to see if we decided to participate or not. DH is against it; I'm ambivalent. I don't intend to answer questions not available in the public domain, but have no issues with answering others. Although neither DH nor I understand why they have to interview us vs. doing this on-line or HUD data mining housing info available in the public domain.

Getting the info will require some time on my part...they really think I retain fuel costs and can tell them how much electricity vs. gas I pay each year; maint. costs vs. remodeling... ...

My question really has to do with how valuable is our participation in this survey? If this will provide some valuable info I'm all for participating, however, at this point, we question that. Any thoughts?

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Old 05-19-2015, 08:08 AM   #2
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A good data set is like gold for academic researchers.

Personally I'd be curious about how they actually go about interviewing people since I often see papers doing analyses on census datasets. But it wouldn't take me much time to dig up stuff like fuel costs since we track all spending anyway.

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Old 05-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TrvlBug View Post
My question really has to do with how valuable is our participation in this survey? If this will provide some valuable info I'm all for participating, however, at this point, we question that. Any thoughts?
If asked, I'd probably do it (as a community service). But I'd ask in advance if the survey asks questions about racial composition of the household, and I'd tell them in advance that I wouldn't be answering those. If they still wanted me to participate, I'd probably do it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:30 AM   #4
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I did some more research (have to read it in more detail) and it appears they really are interested in the house and housing in the area rather than me. Once you're on the list, they will interview you every two years to track changes in the home/area.

Most of the questions deal with housing size, costs + mortgage, amenities, maint. + remodeling costs, and such. Not too many personal questions other than how many people live there. The only personal question I'd refuse to answer is my income.

I'm very curious to find out how many homes in my area are on the list. It appears the list contains about 120K homes throughout the country which is not a lot. Also, I would need to do some research to provide correct answers. We've been living in the home for 17 of its 25 years and have spent considerable $ over the years in drainage and other non-remodeling costs.

Edited to add: you can decline to answer specific questions, which I wouldn't hesitate to do.
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