Panel Paper: Measuring Housing Stability with Consumer Reference Data

Friday, November 8, 2019
I.M Pei Tower: Terrace Level, Columbine (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

David C. Phillips, University of Notre Dame

Housing instability for low-income renters has drawn greater attention recently, but measurement has limited research on policies to stabilize housing. Address histories from consumer reference data can be used to increase the quantity and quality of research on low-income renters. Consumer data tracks housing moves throughout the entire United States for most of the entire adult population. This paper shows that such data can measure housing stability for groups with very low income and extreme instability. For example, the data can track housing moves during natural disasters, at demolition of public housing, and for households at high risk of homelessness. Consumer data can track housing instability outcomes that are more common than shelter entry and cheaper to collect than surveys. Relative to existing administrative address histories, consumer data can track housing moves to exact addresses and across jurisdictions.