Rental Housing Finance Survey (RHFS)

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About the Survey


The Rental Housing Finance Survey (RHFS) is a survey designed to collect data on the financial, managerial, and physical characteristics of rental properties nationwide. The survey is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the Census Bureau.


The RHFS collects data from a sample of rental properties representing the housing structures in the United States. Owners and property managers provide the survey responses.


The survey collects data on the financing of rental housing properties with emphasis on new originations for purchase, refinancing, and loan terms associated with these originations. In addition, the survey collects data on property characteristics, such as number of units, amenities available, rental income and expenditure information.


The RHFS is a biennial survey first conducted in 2012.


The RHFS data will be collected from a random sample of rental property owners across the United States using a web-based instrument.

Data Products

The RHFS results will be released as a public use microdata file. In addition, the RHFS results will be published in national summary tables that provide a collection of statistics.

These data products will be available on the HUD USER website,

How Data Are Used

Examples of data use include those by:

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to gain a better understanding of rental loan origination volumes, property characteristics associated with these originations, and operation cost and revenue characteristics for the rental housing stock in the United States.

  • The executive and legislative branches to help advise the development of rental housing policies, especially those pertaining to financing rental housing for target groups, such as low-income families and individuals and the elderly.

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency to aid in fulfilling its requirements to set affordable housing goals for the government-sponsored enterprises and to develop standards for underwriting rental property mortgages.

  • Businesses and other private entities involved in rental housing development, ownership, and management to obtain detailed information on the financing options used by similar entities in the United States, and to obtain benchmark information on capital and operating expenditures, rental income, and the structure and design of these properties.

  • Academic researchers and private organizations to address various issues of specific interest and concern to their respective communities.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | BHS Team |   Last Revised: March 31, 2016 16:46:23