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Component ID: #ti1279205773

Welcome to the Respondent Information section for the American Housing Survey (AHS). If you are a current AHS respondent, you will find contact information for your region and a respondent FAQ section.  Your participation is important because your answers make a vital difference. When you respond to the American Housing Survey, you are helping your community and the nation. Your answers, combined with others, become the statistics used to make informed decisions about housing in America. We thank you for your interest and participation in the AHS.

The 2019 AHS data collection period began in June and will end no later than December.

Would you like to speak to someone about the American Housing Survey?

If you have been selected to participate in the survey and wish to speak to someone, please contact your Regional Office. Find your state on the map or the list below to locate the Regional Office servicing your area. Then call the phone number provided for that Regional Office.

List of states serviced by each Regional Office

Regional Office

Phone number

Areas Served

Atlanta

1-800-424-6974

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina

Chicago

1-800-865-6384

Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin

Denver

1-800-852-6159

Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Los Angeles

1-800-992-3530

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington

New York

1-800-991-2520

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont

Philadelphia

1-800-262-4236

Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

Component ID: #ti1136724398

 

Respondent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the American Housing Survey (AHS) legitimate?
  2. What is the American Housing Survey (AHS) all about?
  3. I thought that the Census Bureau only counted people every ten years. Why is the Census Bureau contacting me about the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  4. How can I respond to the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  5. Someone contacted me about the American Housing Survey (AHS). How do I verify that the phone call or visit is legitimate?
  6. How long will it take to complete the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  7. Why was I selected for the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  8. Why should I participate in the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  9. How do I know the personal information I provide on the American Housing Survey (AHS) will be kept confidential?
  10. How will the Census Bureau use the information collected by the American Housing Survey (AHS)?
  11. I participated in the American Housing Survey (AHS) two years ago. Why are you coming back?

 

1.      Is the American Housing Survey (AHS) legitimate?

Yes, the American Housing Survey (AHS) is a legitimate statistical survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The American Housing Survey is designed to provide a measure of housing conditions, cost, and quality over time in the United States.

Congress requires the Department of Housing and Urban Development to collect this information under the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983 (Title 12 of the U.S.C., Section 1701z-1, 1701z-2(g), and 1701z-10a). The Census Bureau conducts the survey on behalf of HUD under the authority of Title 13 of the U.S.C. 8(b).    

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2.      What is the American Housing Survey (AHS) all about?

The American Housing Survey (AHS) is the most comprehensive housing survey conducted in the United States. The purpose of this survey is to provide up-to-date information about the quality and cost of housing in the United States and major metropolitan areas. The survey also includes questions about:

  • the physical condition of homes and neighborhoods,
  • the costs of financing and maintaining homes, and
  • the characteristics of people who live in these homes.

Planners, policy makers, and community stakeholders use the results of the AHS to assess the housing needs of communities and the country.  These statistics inform decisions that affect the housing opportunities for people of all income levels, ages, and racial and ethnic groups.

Since our country changes rapidly, policymakers in government and private organizations need current housing information to make decisions about programs that will affect people of all income levels, ages, and racial and ethnic groups.

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3.      I thought that the Census Bureau only counted people every ten years. Why is the Census Bureau contacting me about the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

While the Census Bureau is best known for the decennial census, which is conducted every 10 years, the Census Bureau collects information in other censuses and surveys.

In the case of the American Housing Survey (AHS), the Census Bureau collects data on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide the most comprehensive information available on the cost and quality of the American housing stock across the entire country.

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4.     How can I respond to the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

You will have the option of completing the survey in person with one of our field representatives or over the phone. The American Housing Survey (AHS) takes place every two years. Before a Census Bureau representative contacts you, you will receive a letter from the Census Bureau notifying you that the survey is taking place.

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5.     Someone contacted me about the American Housing Survey (AHS). How do I verify that the phone call or visit is legitimate?

To verify that the phone call or visit is legitimate, please call your Census Bureau regional office and give them the name and/or interviewer code. You can find contact information for the regional office for your area at https://www.census.gov/about/regions.html.

Another option for verifying the identity of a Census Bureau interviewer is by entering their first and last name into the U.S. Department of Commerce Staff Directory at https://staff.commerce.gov.

If you have received a letter requesting you to participate in the survey, a Census Bureau field representative will be contacting you to complete the survey. He or she will always show you an official Census ID or provide you with his or her name and interviewer code to confirm employment with the Census Bureau.

The American Housing Survey (AHS) NEVER asks for:

  • your full Social Security number,
  • your personal information via email,
  • money or donations, and
  • credit card information.

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6.      How long will it take to complete the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

The American Housing Survey (AHS) generally takes about 40 minutes to complete, but may be longer or shorter, depending on your circumstances.

An agency cannot conduct, sponsor, or require a response to a collection of information unless the collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval number.  The OMB approval number for this survey is 2528-0017 and the expiration date is 6/30/22. This number must be displayed in order for us to conduct the survey.

If you have any comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, send comments to the Director, Housing and Demographic Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, Office of Economic Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410.

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7.      Why was I selected for the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

The Census Bureau selects addresses for the American Housing Survey (AHS) from a scientifically selected sample of addresses from a list of all residential addresses in the United States. Each address that participates in the AHS represents thousands of others in the community.   

Once the selection of household addresses are made, we cannot replace an address by randomly selecting a different one. Your address cannot be substituted for another. The list of addresses is maintained to ensure the results of the AHS accurately represent communities across the country.  

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8.     Why should I participate in the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

Statistics from the American Housing Survey (AHS) are important for addressing the current housing needs of the American public and planning for the future.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and your representatives in Congress use the AHS to make decisions about housing programs and other factors that affect the quality and cost of housing over time. Federal, state, and local governments use this information to develop housing policies that may affect your community.

Component ID: #ti970872886

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9.     How do I know the personal information I provide on the American Housing Survey (AHS) will be kept confidential?

The U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to release your responses publicly in a way that could identify your household.

For more information on the technological, legal, and procedural safeguards for your data, please visit:

https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/protect-information.html

Federal law protects your privacy and keeps your answers confidential (Title 13, United States Code, Section 9(a)). Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data.

Disclosure of the information provided to us is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a) and may be shared with other Census Bureau staff for the work-related purposes identified in this statement.  Disclosure of this information is also subject to the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/Census-3, Demographic Survey Collection (Census Bureau Sampling Frame).

Furnishing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide this information may affect the Census Bureau’s ability to collect information on U.S. housing quality and costs. You may decline to answer any or all questions, but each item not answered lessens the quality of the results.

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10.  How will the Census Bureau use the information collected by the American Housing Survey (AHS)?

By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau and survey sponsor, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), create a variety of data products using the data collected by the American Housing Survey (AHS). Below are some examples:

Component ID: #ti1037701182
Component ID: #ti2103965665
Component ID: #ti1215902014

The Census Bureau integrates information from the AHS with data from other sources, such as administrative records. This allows the Census Bureau to produce quality statistics more efficiently while reducing the number of questions in the survey.    

For more information on combining Census Bureau data with administrative data, please visit:

https://www.census.gov/about/what/admin-data.html

The same confidentiality laws that protect your survey answers also protect any additional information we use from administrative records (Title 13, U.S.C., Section 9).

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11.  I participated in the American Housing Survey (AHS) two years ago. Why are you coming back?

The American Housing Survey (AHS) is a longitudinal survey, which means it measures changes over time by interviewing the same housing units every other year. Any differences in the physical conditions of a unit or characteristics of the occupants provide information on the short- and long-term characteristics of housing across the country.    

A Census Bureau field representative may contact this address again in two years regarding this survey. If you move, we will interview the new occupants.

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Component ID: #ti2145834373
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