Resources for the 2018 Longitudinal Systems Analysis Report (Formerly AHAR)
Beginning this year, HUD has replaced the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) data submission process for Continuums of Care (CoCs) with the Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) report.
HUD has developed a new platform for the submission of the LSA, the Homelessness Data Exchange, Version 2.0 (HDX 2.0), and opened it for communities to preview and test prior to the next official submission period. The highly granular dataset produced by a CoC’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), once uploaded to the HDX 2.0, will enhance the ability of communities to review their data and to streamline how CoCs provide their aggregated HMIS data to HUD each year for the written AHAR to Congress.
Typically, HUD opens the HDX for AHAR submission on October 1st each year. Due to the programming complexities of the new LSA reporting specifications, HUD is still working closely with vendors and data collection staff to finalize the reporting timeline for this first year of LSA data submission. CoCs will be given at least three weeks’ notice prior to the official opening date of the HDX 2.0. At that time, official submission and confirmation deadlines will be provided, as well as interim milestones CoCs are expected to meet to stay on track for a successful submission.
As the LSA data collection kick-off date approaches, updated community resources, including info-sheets and a detailed user guide, will be announced through the HUD Exchange mailing list and posted to the HUD Exchange.
Vendor Preparation and Report Review
In April 2018, HUD issued LSA Report Specifications and Tools to support HMIS software providers in programming the HMIS LSA report file. These materials have been updated several times to correct bugs identified by vendors during the programming process. HUD appreciates the software providers’ ongoing feedback as they prepare this complex report.
The LSA report generated from the HMIS is a .zip file comprising 10 CSV files with potentially thousands of rows of numerical output. Instead of reviewing these files directly, CoCs will need to upload the file to the HDX 2.0 and review the results within the HDX 2.0 Summary Data Display. There, results are calculated by the HDX 2.0 and displayed by reporting category and system use. If errors are found with the uploaded data, users must correct the client data in the source HMIS and re-upload corrected files, or resolve warnings they cannot correct by adding explanatory notes. Users may upload multiple LSA files in the HDX 2.0 until they are satisfied that they accurately reflect the CoC.
Vendors have not been asked to create an LSA report within the HMIS for CoCs to review the data prior to submission in HDX 2.0. This is because doing so would replicate the tens of thousands of calculations contained in the HDX 2.0 and introduce the potential for discrepancies between the official HDX 2.0 display and the vendor calculations.
HDX 2.0 Login Information
All existing HDX users are already established as users in the new HDX 2.0. For security purposes, no passwords from HDX were carried over to the HDX 2.0, so all users must reset their password in order to log in to the HDX 2.0 for the first time. Simply click “log in,” select “forgot your password,” and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you do not have an existing HDX account and anticipate needing one in HDX 2.0, please visit the site and select “create an account” in the upper right corner to begin the process.
Other Available Resources
Beta User Guide and Sample Upload File: HUD has developed an HDX 2.0 Beta User Guide that outlines some of the basic functionality of the site and the LSA module. Additionally, a sample LSA upload file is available for CoCs to load into the system.
Summary Display Table Shells: The Summary table shells depict the client data that will be available for CoCs to see in the HDX 2.0 immediately upon successful upload of an LSA. Full table shells are also provided, representing the approximately 50,000 calculations that the HDX 2.0 will generate from an uploaded LSA report.
If you have any questions/comments about the HDX 2.0 or the beta test process, please visit the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal on the HUD Exchange website. Under “My question is related to,” select “HDX Homelessness Data Exchange.”