HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 17-001
April A. Brown
(202) 708-0685
For Release
January 6, 2017

2015 survey focuses on housing costs, food insecurity and neighborhood characteristics

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2015 American Housing Survey ( focusing on 25 metropolitan areas across the country. The data released today includes detailed information on everything from monthly housing costs, hunger, and neighborhood characteristics including crime and the prevalence of rodents and cockroaches. Read the 2015 American Housing Survey data by metro area.

The national report, released in November (, focused on nationwide data, while today's release reflects data on homes and households in 25 large metropolitan areas.

The 25 metropolitan areas in the 2015 AHS include:

  • New York City-Newark-Jersey City
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
  • Chicago
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Washington, DC
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach,
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • San Francisco-Oakland
  • Phoenix
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
  • Detroit
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • Portland, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington
  • Pittsburgh
  • Cincinnati
  • Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas
  • Cleveland
  • Milwaukee
  • Memphis
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • New Orleans

The most comprehensive survey of its kind, the AHS covers a variety of "core" housing topics, including the composition and quality of the nation's housing inventory, mortgages and other housing costs, and neighborhood conditions. For the first time in its 42-year history, the American Housing Survey included questions on food security status, which allowed HUD to assign households a "food security status" score. Using these categories, households were classified as having "low" or "very low" food security, which is commonly known as being "food insecure".

The 2015 survey includes the following findings:

Housing Costs

  • Households living in the metros areas of Los Angeles and Miami report spending 30 percent of their monthly income on housing costs while families living in Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle spend 21 percent.
  • Families living in the metro area of Portland, Oregon spend 23 percent while Pittsburg residents spend 18 percent of their monthly income on housing costs.

Health and Hunger:

  • In 2015, approximately 901,000 households (12.4 percent) in the New York City metro area were experiencing food insecurity while over 100,000 families (5.4 percent) living in the Boston area were experiencing the least in the largest metro areas.
  • 15.9 percent of households in Detroit reported the most exposure to first-hand tobacco inside their home in the largest metro areas while San Francisco reported the least at 4.6 percent.

Housing Quality

  • Nearly 17 percent of households in the Boston metro area reported signs of mice or rats in their home within the last 12 months and Phoenix residents report significantly less at 3.4 percent.
  • 38 percent of households in the Houston metro area report the most sightings of cockroaches in their home within the last 12 months while Seattle residents report less than 1 percent.


  • 11 percent of households in the Los Angeles area report their neighborhood has a lot of serious crime while Atlanta area households reports 4.5 percent.
  • 26.2 percent of residents in the Los Angeles area report a lot of petty crime in their neighborhood while DC area households report nearly 14 percent.

The AHS is sponsored by HUD and conducted every other year by the Census Bureau. The latest AHS metropolitan areas survey was conducted in the summer and fall of 2015 and included a nationally-representative sample of homes, as well as a representative samples of homes in the 15 largest metropolitan areas and ten additional large metropolitan areas. The full national and metropolitan area results of the 2015 AHS are now available at the AHS Table Creator website (, where users can create custom tables and reports.

Read detailed summary tables of the data released today (


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

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Content Archived: January 1, 2019