Longitudinal System Analysis (LSA)

It’s LSA Season!

What is the LSA?

If you’ve been with us a while, you know fall is AHAR season. What you may not know is HUD has been working hard over the last few years to reinvent the AHAR report in a way that’s more robust, enhancing our communities’ ability to readily use this data.   

While it may seem that in HMIS land the only constant is change, the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), largely, hasn’t gotten an upgrade since 2007! George W. was president; the iPhone was new. Think of the data advancements since then; it’s simply AHAR’s turn. 

A Little Branding Clarity, Please?

So you’re still saying AHAR, but now you’re also saying LSA? Yes. The AHAR still exists! The report and data examined is what’s changing. There are broad similarities, but more topics, more clients, and the data pull extends beyond single year federal fiscal year. Instead, it reviews four cohorts (the active cohort, and exit data for 3 previous cohorts) going back several years. 

Here’s a quick sketch:

Chart showing cohorts for LSA

The AHAR is actually a combination of three separate aggregate data submissions that occur throughout the year: the Housing Inventory Count, the Point-in-Time, and, now, the LSA. US Census data is also used for contextual analysis. 

What's Different?

  • The report has a new name and expanded set of data. It’s now called the Longitudinal System Analysis.
  • Previously, AHAR looked at sample and contributing sites. This has shifted to a census model.
  • More project types are included, which means we will be reaching out to more agencies and users to complete data corrections.
  • This is a new process nationwide, and a new way of looking at system-level data.
  • With anything new comes unknown; we’re actively planning for this.

Does it Affect Me/My Agency/My Projects?

Chances are, yes! In the past, the AHAR included Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing projects. The LSA includes an expanded set of project types. For the first time, this will include client information for Rapid Re-housing, Street Outreach, and Safe Haven. A few other housing types are included for bed inventory and project set up only.

In addition, there’s an extended date range AND bed inventory will be pulled directly from HMIS. 

What's the Timeline?

2018 LSA timeline

What's ICA's Role?

ICA Regional System Administrators will be reaching out to agencies and HMIS users with questions and confirmation of your most recently reported bed inventory records from the Housing Inventory Count (the HIC, what you shared with your CoCs) and/or in followup to our agency check-ins. ICA Regional System Administrators will also be sending out emails about data corrections 

What's My Role?

The following project types, regardless of funding, are included in the LSA:  

Emergency Shelter (ES), Transitional Housing (TH), Safe Haven (SH), Street Outreach (SO), Rapid Rehousing (RRH), Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) 

HMIS users that conduct data entry for these projects, regardless of funding source, will hear from your Regional System Administrators directly in the coming weeks with specific data entry issues in need of immediate attention. Block off time on your calendar for data clean-up! See the LSA Data Corrections User Guide for data clean-up instructions.

How Will ICA Communicate Needed Data Corrections?

You are not expected to run these reports yourself. Your RSA will send your HMIS user contact a detailed email containing:   

  1. All data issues in need of correction.  
  2. Detailed instructions for each correction type.  
  3. Instructions for how to run the reports yourself to verify fixes.  

Rather than asking all HMIS users to run this set of reports on their own, users will hear directly from their RSA via email.   

ICA MN Resources

What Data, Over What Time Period, Do You Review?

The LSA looks at all clients during four different periods of time:

  • Clients who were served from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018  
  • Clients who exited a program between 10/1/2017 and 3/31/2018 
  • Clients who exited a program between 10/1/2016 and 9/30/2017 
  • Clients who exited a program between 10/1/2015 and 9/30/2016

This report looks at who is participating in programs, how long they participate and where they go when they exit a program. 

What HMIS Data Elements Does the LSA Use?

Data Quality elements for the 2018 LSA

Info for CoC Coordinators and Local System Administrators

Where to Learn More

Explore what HUD has published so far on the HUD Exchange.