Housing policy researchers studying the intersection of housing and disability must understand the relative strengths and limitations of the various types of administrative and survey data that can be used to identify persons with disabilities. This article describes traditional ways that disability has been measured in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administrative data and in relevant federally funded household surveys in the United States, while also highlighting newly available linked administrative survey data that can better identify persons with disabilities who participate in HUD-assisted housing programs. The article addresses various methods of measuring disability, including measures that are common across data sources (such as the sequence of six disability questions now included in the American Community Survey, American Housing Survey, and other federally funded surveys) and measures that are unique to specific sources of data (including HUD administrative data linked with population health surveys that include more detail on activity, functional, and social limitations). The article also discusses the strengths and limitations of various measures.
Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Brucker, D.L. & Helms, V. (2017). Measuring disability. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 19, 7, 257-266.