Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Recommended Measures

08/28/2002

While it may be common to collect information about a respondents type of housing, analysis of the data show that the vast majority of welfare recipients are renters. Very few own homes, live in shelters, or are homeless. Thus, we believe it is not useful to include this measure in our proposed survey. We do, however, recommend including the three measures having to do with whether the respondent lives in public housing, the number of bedrooms in the respondents dwelling, and whether the current housing situation interferes with work or training. This will capture important information on the use of low-income housing, potential household crowding and family stress (when coupled with the data on the number of household members), and perceptions of work- or training-related difficulties due to housing problems. Due to the time constraints on the survey, we do not recommend asking any more questions about housing.

We also recommend asking one measure on family mobility taken from the Alameda survey: how many times the respondent moved over the past 12 months. Time permitting, we would also recommend asking the primary reason for moving (the last time, if more than one move). This will provide the basic information on mobility and family stress, using a minimal number of measures.

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