Panel Paper: The Community Advantage Panel Survey: Announcing a Version for Public Use

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Wright (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sarah Riley and Roberto Quercia, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

We announce the launch of a de-identified, public-use version of the Community Advantage Panel Survey (CAPS), which comprises 11 years of panel survey data provided by approximately 5,000 low- and moderate–income homeowners and renters during the period of 2003-2014. The homeowners who were recruited to participate in CAPS received mortgages between 1999 and 2003 through the Community Advantage Program, and the participating renters were recruited to match these homeowners with respect to geographic proximity and an income ceiling. The survey collects a wide variety of information, including demographics and family formation, mobility and housing tenure choice, unemployment, wealth and asset holdings, social capital and civic engagement, and housing satisfaction. The survey period spans both the housing market boom that ended in 2006 and the subsequent housing market decline that ushered in the recession of 2007-2009.

The Community Advantage Program (CAP) is a secondary mortgage market demonstration program that was initiated in 1998 via a partnership among the Ford Foundation, Fannie Mae, and Self-Help, a non-profit lender with headquarters in Durham, NC. Under CAP, Self-Help purchased qualifying loans from the originating lenders and resold them to Fannie Mae while retaining recourse for an agreed period of time. Qualifying loans were those made to households with annual incomes no greater than 80% of the area median income at the metropolitan statistical area level (MSAMI), or to minority households with annual incomes no greater than 115% of the MSAMI. CAP was designed to provide policy-relevant insights with respect to community reinvestment lending, as defined by the Community Reinvestment Act, and to inform future housing policy. Thus, the CAPS data provide a means for researchers to answer a broad range of questions with respect to low- and moderate-income homeownership in the context of community reinvestment lending.

The UNC Center for Community Capital has overseen CAPS data collection with generous funding from the Ford Foundation, currently serves as the CAPS data custodian, and has conducted a variety of research using the CAPS data. We first provide a brief overview of some of these research topics and key findings, in order to illustrate the types of research projects for which the CAPS data may be useful. We then discuss the general structure of the CAPS data sets and documentation, followed by the major strengths and limitations of the data. We conclude by describing the data sharing process and providing instructions for how to access the data and get technical support as needed.