STATE — The U.S. Census Bureau recently mailed advance letters to select households in the Northern New Jersey metropolitan area, notifying these households that their address has been chosen for the American Housing Survey (AHS). The letter urges the selected households to cooperate with the Census Bureau’s field representatives, who may contact the household by telephone or in person. (The counties included in the sample are: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties.)
Throughout the Northeast United States there will be over 700 Field Representatives interviewing close to 27,000 households. Data collected through the American Housing Survey provides up-to-date information on the size and composition the housing inventory.
As population increases, so does the demand for housing. There is a great need for information about the types of homes in which people are now living and the characteristics of these homes, as well as the costs of running and maintaining them. Some of the questions asked include the number of rooms, heating and cooling equipment, and the cost of the housing.
Information from the survey helps to measure the changes in the nation’s housing supply resulting from losses and new construction. It measures the structural makeup of the housing and characteristics of the occupants. The information also helps to evaluate the effects of proposals on tax reform and assistance programs.
The Census Bureau scientifically selected a sample of addresses (not people) throughout the United States.
“The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete,” said New York Regional Director Jeff Behler. “The answers not only represent the selected home, but thousands of other homes like the one selected. Household cooperation provides a distinct service to our country.”
The American Housing Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code. This code requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about a household and the people associated with it confidential. The information is used for statistical purposes only. Every Census Bureau employee, from the Director to the field representative who conducts the interview, has taken an oath to abide by this law and is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both, if he or she discloses any information that could identify a person or a household.
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