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the potential return to serious efforts should be significant. At this stage what is needed is the designation of a lead agency to assess the potential for a cooperative Federal/local statistical program. The lead agency would need to identify potential users and their data requirements, facilitate the determination of priorities and propose approaches to continuing coordination.
Currently, no one agency attempts to oversee Federal and local cooperation in this subject area. Private, local, and State outlays dwarf Federal outlays for housing and community development. At the same time, HUD has been assigned the role of reporting to the Congress on progress in meeting national housing goals, including its environment. HUD is therefore the most appropriate agency to take the lead in exploring the benefits and costs of one or more Federal/local cooperative statistical programs and appropriate mechanisms for organizing the effort.
extend considerable leadership within their respective areas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the agency with the most immediate Federal involvement, would be the logical site for a statistical center for housing and community development statistics.
A Federal statistical center should be established within HUD to exert leadership in the area of housing and community development. A study should be conducted to recommend specific functions, lead agency responsibilities, and organizational location.
Programs To Be Discontinued
Potential savings in statistical programs might be made in the outlays made by State and local governments for the collection of data, much of which is financed out of Federal grants. For example, a significant proportion of the approximately $60 million HUD annual outlays for the support of local planning is expended for the purpose of providing updated data on land use, housing conditions and the physical plant of local governments. While the cost of the supported data programs is not available, it is estimated that some 5% of the annual Federal outlays in this program area is for data collection and processing. To the extent comparable data are made available for local use through programs such as a mid-decade census or through estimation procedures, some portion of the current outlays could be applied to other activities.
Summary of Recommendations Recommendations for new programs which apply to several headings shown below are listed only under the first heading where they appear.
The office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research (HUD) should be assigned the lead responsibility for exploring the feasibility of initiating Federal/local cooperation in the standardization of local area data on housing and community development. The Bureau of the Census should play a major role in this effort.
Assuming the preliminary assessment to be favorable, experience with the development of cooperative systems in the fields of education and health indicates that any continuing systems would evolve slowly. Important first steps in the process would involve the identification of Federal requirements for housing and community development statistics for local areas and discussing joint interests in local area data with appropriate government and professional groups.
There is currently no single organizational unit which has been given the assignment and technical skills necessary to enable it to take a broad role in fostering improvements in Federal housing and community development statistics. In the absence of such a focal unit, advances in statistics have been spotty, and there have been significant delays in addressing emerging needs. For example, there are no data on the characteristics of mortgage transactions underwritten by private mortgage insurers (PMI's) despite the fact that PMI's have replaced HUD as the principal source of residential mortgage insurance.
Creation of a Federal statistical center for housing and community development would place these fields on a par with the fields of health and education which have established centers that are in a position to
Housing Need 1. The HUD Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Policy Development and Research should coordinate a continuing interagency effort to develop measures of housing and neighborhood adequacy which have a significant relationship to Federal policy issues. This effort should include investigation of the relationships between housing and neighborhood characteristics and a variety of social and economic phenomena which are included in the HEW Survey of Income and Program
Participation. 2. Improved estimating procedures for data on
income and wealth which are developed in the DHEW Survey of Income and Program Participation should be introduced into the
Annual Housing Survey as soon as possible
after development. 3. HUD should play a major role in developing a
follow-on survey to the 1980 Census to obtain detailed characteristics of mobile homes and their occupants.
Housing Market Analysis 4. The requirement for separate tabulations for
SMSA's as part of the Annual Housing Survey should be reevaluated with respect to the middecade census program and the benchmarking
of local data series. 5. The need for data on existing homes
transactions should be met through the initiation of a HUD sponsored survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census and providing data for selected active market areas as well as for the Nation. Comparable data should be provided separately for existing mobile home transactions. Special-purpose surveys such as the periodic surveys of the aged and disabled should be more fully utilized as possible sources on the housing situation of special groups.
Federal/State/local cooperative system. The Department of Agriculture should play a similar role with respect to rural land use data as a natural outgrowth of its role as the lead agency for conducting a feasibiliy study under the provisions of section 4(d) of the International Investment Survey Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-472). The Bureau of the Census, as the most likely data collection agency, should play an active role in the effort. Consideration should also be given to the initiation of a national survey of land use to provide data relevant to national energy, environment, housing and community development policy formulation and monitoring foreign investment in land during the period in which a cooperative statistical program is being established.
7. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
Development and Research (HUD) should be assigned the lead responsibility for exploring the feasibility of initiating Federal/local cooperation in the standardization of local area data on housing and community development. The Bureau of the Census should play a major role in this effort.
8. A Federal statistical center should be
established within HUD to exert leadership in the area of housing and community development. A study should be conducted to develop recommendations for specific functions, lead agency responsibilities and organizational location.
Chapter 10. INCOME MAINTENANCE AND WELFARE STATISTICS
Introduction and Overview
interaction of the existing programs became better
understood, it became more and more apparent that The term "income maintenance statistics” as used modifications to individual programs frequently in this chapter refers to statistics in support of pro
resulted in unwanted effects in other programs. The grams primarily devoted to increasing the income of development of a computer model in the late 1960's people at the lower end of the income scale. Programs for the President's Commission on Income which are discussed include Social Security, Aid to Maintenance Programs in order to estimate benefit Families with Dependent Children, Supplementary costs and the numbers of recipients for different Security Income, and Food Stamps. The chapter does levels of benefits payments marked a major not include certain closely related programs which, watershed in the ability to provide quantitative together with income maintenance programs, are in- analysis of reform proposals. Initially, the model was cluded within the Budget designation, "Federal used extensively to set the basic guarantee for a Income Security Programs." The omitted Federal family of four and the "tax” rate by which additional Income Security Programs include Federal employee income would be offset by reductions in benefits. benefits, veterans' benefits, unemployment insurance, Later versions were used to provide quantitative railroad retirement tax expenditures, and programs analysis of the second attempt at general welfare providing benefits in kind. An exception to the ex- reform in 1971 in the form of House Resolution 1. clusion of in-kind programs is made for the food Other microsimulation models have been developed stamp program because of the close relationship of in recent years by government agencies and nonprofit this program to cash programs. This chapter does not and private organizations to analyze the probable take into account plans for welfare reform, which can impact of program modifications. The models in be expected to have a major impact on data current use include several versions of “TRIM,” requirements and organizational structure. However, “MATH,” and “SSA/ORS.” One effect of the all of the suggested improvements in statistics should modeling has been to place a premium on the contribute to a smooth transition to a simplified generation of high quality microdata sets which welfare program.
provide detailed information on the social and
economic characteristics of individuals and families. Since the passage of the Economic Opportunity For further discussion of the interaction between Act in 1964 there has been a great increase in Federal
income maintenance computer models and outlays for income maintenance programs. The policymakers the reader is referred to the chapter, growth in program outlays has been accompanied by
"Congress and Welfare Reform: A Case Study of the an insistent demand for improved statistics assessing
Family Assistance Plan," in Perspectives on Poverty, the effectiveness of these outlays and the distributive
Dennis J. Dugan and William H. Leahy, editors effects of changes in the economy in order to provide
(Praeger, N.Y., 1973). a solid base for program planning. The program related issues for which statistics are needed include:
The Department of Health, Education, and (1) the distribution of benefits, (2) the adequacy of
Welfare is the major producer of income support levels, (3) the current and potential
maintenance statistics as a by-product of budgetary impact of programs, (4) the effect on work administrative data files. General-purpose statistics incentives, (5) the causes of poverty, (6) the effect of
of importance to this area are produced by the alternative strategies for reducing the effects of
Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Economic poverty, and (7) the costs, including administration Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the of alternative programs.
Department of Agriculture. Statistics of participation
in programs providing in-kind benefits to recipients Prior to 1969 serious proposals to restructure are compiled by the Departments of Agriculture; income maintenance programs focused on Housing and Urban Development; and Health, adjustments to existing programs. However, as the Education, and Weifare.
The roles of the principal program agencies are as follows:
The Department of Agriculture collects data relative to purchase of food stamps and participation in child nutrition programs, surveys the food consumption patterns of families and individuals, estimates the nutritional adequacy of the food consumed by individuals and families, and prepares food plans approximating nutritionally adequate diets while reflecting usual consumption patterns.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare supports data collection concerning the reasons for changes in family income relative to needs in order to determine the effects of various proposed changes in income maintenance programs; supports research relating to the distribution of income and wealth, income transfers, the income maintenance system, and the relationship between poverty and household decisionmaking and behavior; and coordinates departmental efforts to improve the income maintenance data bases.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) collects data on the characteristics of beneficiaries and benefits received for programs of: (1) social insurance against loss of income through old age, disability, or death of the breadwinner, (2) Supplementary Security Income and (3) Aid to Families with Dependent Children. SSA also analyzes the adequacy of payments in relation to beneficiary circumstances; studies the dynamics of the retirement process and interprets and projects demographic, economic, and social trends pertaining to the population eligible for income maintenance.
User and Policy Groups The principal users of income maintenance data and of the analyses produced by computer models are congressional committees; principally the Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy of the Joint Economic Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee, the Budget Committees of the House and Senate, the Congressional Budget Office and the Congressional Research Service; and executive agencies including the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department. In addition, the congressional committees with jurisdiction over program agencies generate inquiries which require use of income maintenance data.
All of the major income maintenance programs including the Supplementary Security Income (SSI)
program involve supplemental funding by State or local governments and, except for the SSI program, are administered by States and in some States by local agencies. These governments are directly concerned with the operation of income maintenance programs within their jurisdictions. The State and local governments use their own data systems for local program data, but rely on Federal statistics for information on the population at risk and for comparisons with other States. They also rely heavily on Federal analysis of the interaction of different income maintenance programs.
An extensive number of special interest groups are also concerned with data concerning income maintenance program issues. These include organizations of government bodies; professionals employed in the provision of welfare services; groups focused on the needs of particular population groups, such as the aging, the blind and the disabled; unions; social welfare organizations and organizations concerned with poverty law. Many of these organizations in turn form close working associations with each other around issues of mutual concern, as for example, specific legislative proposals.
In addition to these groups there are a number of large nonprofit policy research organizations with an extensive need for data. Finally, academicians constitute another large group of users of income maintenance data and statistics.
Adequacy of Income Maintenance Statistics
The adequacy of statistics in this area must be judged by how completely they inform us about the economic well-being of the population and the contribution made by individual programs to improvement in economic and social conditions. Further they must be evaluated on the basis of their contribution to effective program administration. Data needed to address these concerns and the program-related issues enumerated in the introduction are discussed under the headings: population at risk, adjustments for cost-of-living differences, measures of sufficiency, and program participation.
Population At Risk
A comprehensive overview of the population at risk (potentially eligible for income maintenance and welfare programs) does not yet exist. No one source or interlocking set of sources describes economic status, including sources of income, assets and liabilities, and current consumption; or individual characteristics such as employment, health or