Date Published: November 2017
Unit utilization rates refer to the proportion of units that are occupied on any given day. Unit utilization rates are calculated by taking the number of households served on any given day and dividing by the number of units available. Like bed utilization rates, unit utilization rates can be calculated for a particular provider or aggregated to the project-level. However, unlike bed utilization rates, average daily unit utilization rates cannot be calculated because we do not have a good way to calculate the average number of households served during the AHAR reporting period. Thus, we have several point-in-time (or one day) unit utilization rates.
Unit utilization rates are particularly important for projects that serve persons in families. Because a unit can be occupied by one family only and the number of beds in the unit may exceed the size of the family, some family projects may have high unit utilization rates but low bed utilization rates. For example, a family of 2 may occupy a unit that has 4 beds, resulting in a unit utilization rate equal to 100 percent and a bed utilization rate equal to 50 percent. If you have low bed utilization in question 2, you may want to check the unit utilization to see if the unit utilization is higher. You may have smaller families using larger units, which is causing low bed utilization in question 2. You can report the unit utilization in a note to question 2 to clarify low/high bed utilization.