Census numbers directly impact the amount of money metros receive and their representation in Congress. In 2020, Realtors will help ensure complete and accurate data.
WASHINGTON – The United States Census Bureau designated the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as a National Partner for the upcoming 2020 Census. The Census Bureau hopes to enlist the support of various national organizations, and NAR is asking its 1.4 million Realtors members nationwide to help drive Census participation in their respective communities.
“NAR is able to provide tremendous value to our members because of the research we produce examining trends in communities across this country,” says NAR President Vince Malta. “But the usefulness of that information relies on current, accurate data from the federal government. Full participation in the Census is, in many ways, the only way to ensure that data is correct.”
In addition to determining appropriate congressional representation, the federal government allocates roughly $1.5 trillion to states and localities annually based off the once-per-decade Census results. The money is used as funding for roads, hospitals, schools and countless other public services. This year’s results will influence the allocation of $93.5 billion to Federal Direct Student Loans, $19.3 billion to Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and $12 billion to the National School Lunch Program.
As a result, cities, counties and states have a vested interest in making sure every citizen is counted in order to maximize funding.
Through its partnership with NAR, the Census Bureau will provide Realtors with promotional materials that emphasize the importance of responding to the 2020 Census, and ask NAR members and partners to share them with clients and neighbors. The challenge is greatest in smaller, hard-to-reach communities.
Notices about the 2020 Census will be mailed to U.S. residents in mid-March, and the Census Bureau will offer a guide in roughly 60 different languages. This year marks the first time the questionnaire can be completed online, though respondents still have the option to respond over the phone or through the mail.
In addition, NAR is reminding its members and U.S. residents to respond to the Census but also be on the lookout for scammers that may try to take advantage of the once-per-decade survey. The Census Bureau will never ask for bank account or social security numbers, donations or anything on behalf of a political party, and strict federal law protects the confidentiality of Census responses.
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