The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program allowed local governments to include hard-to-find units in the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF), which is the cornerstone of the mailout/mailback decennial census. These improvements have allowed the Census Bureau to penetrate the more marginal parts of the housing stock, where units are often not formally labeled, and where their very existence can be difficult to determine. In New York City, where address updating included two rounds of LUCA, the Census Bureau acknowledged an increase of 170,000 housing units between 2000 and 2010. However, there was a dramatic growth in vacant units, equivalent to almost one-half of the total increase in housing units. The increase in vacant units was disproportionately concentrated in 2 of the 18 local census offices in New York City. The paper uses local administrative data on new construction, property foreclosures, and property values; data from the United States Postal Service; as well as survey data from the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey and the American Community Survey to show why this concentrated increase in vacant units is untenable. From the standpoint of the enumeration, units added in LUCA would challenge the best enumerator, but these hurdles were largely overcome, but for the two local census offices. The paper goes on to discuss how the Census Bureau can adopt measures in 2020 to ensure that housing units and their occupancy status are accurately enumerated in New York and across the nation.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 6, 2013
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