The funding for both 2020 Census planning and the administration of the annual American Community Survey (ACS) is currently in limbo due to congressional inaction on the U.S. Census Bureau’s FY 2015 spending bill. NMHC/NAA use data from both surveys for numerous purposes, including estimating the economic impact of the apartment industry and providing members with the latest data about the industry.
The full House approved a funding measure in late May that would make participation in the ACS voluntary, which would reduce the reliability of the survey and likely make it more expensive because increased effort would need to be made to ensure a representative sample. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee approved a bill that provides more funding than the House version. The bill, however, has not been brought to the Senate floor due to politics.
NMHC/NAA joined with a broad coalition of groups in sending a letter on July 29 to the House, as well as the Senate and Obama Administration urging support for extra funding for the Census, should Congress opt to fund the government through a continuing resolution. The legislative tool would keep the government running at FY 2014 levels. We are supporting this approach to funding because flat funding would harm the Census process.
Please contact Senior Research Analyst Caitlin Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.