The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) is a citywide, representative survey of New York City’s housing stock and population that is fielded about every three years by the US Census Bureau on behalf of the City of New York. The NYCHVS collects data in all of New York City’s neighborhoods, in all five boroughs, and focuses on representing all New Yorkers—regardless of who they are or where they live. All of this ensures that the NYCHVS represents the diversity of New York City’s residents and housing stock.
We know that we cannot understand New Yorkers’ living situations by asking only about the house or apartment where they live. We live in residential buildings with our neighbors. We live and work in our neighborhoods. We are proud residents of our boroughs. And we are all New Yorkers.
Every neighborhood in all 5 boroughs includes people like you who have been selected to participate in the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS). Others in your neighborhood have also been selected. Together, you have the important opportunity to make sure we can describe what makes your block, neighborhood, and borough unique.
The NYCHVS scientifically selects 12,000 addresses throughout New York City to represent the overall housing stock and population—about 3.4 million units and 8.4 million people. Each address represents about 300 others like it. NYCHVS data are used to capture the diversity of New York City. Since the NYCHVS interviews collect the same information on all New Yorkers, everyone selected has an equal voice and opportunity to be heard.
The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) was first conducted in 1965, when local law required a survey be done to better understand the city’s housing conditions. Since then, the Census has continued to conduct the NYCHVS for the City of New York about every three years. The 2021 NYCHVS is the 18th survey cycle.
The NYCHVS has a long history of being a valuable resource. Data are used by city and state agencies, researchers, policymakers, and advocates to understand the characteristics and condition of the city’s housing and the lives of New York City residents.
The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) is sponsored by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). HPD is the city agency responsible for ensuring that all New Yorkers live in a safe home as well as for helping to develop and preserve affordable housing. HPD is the largest municipal housing preservation and development agency in the nation.
The Research and Evaluation team is located within the Office of Policy and Strategy at HPD. Its mission is to support evidence based policymaking and effective programming through research and evaluation, including the design and execution of the NYCHVS.
To speak with the Sponsor Team, please call 311.
The United States Census Bureau
Since 1965, the City of New York has contracted the United States Census Bureau to conduct the NYCHVS. This partnership is unique and helps make sure this survey meets the highest standards for quality, privacy, and professionalism.
The US Census Bureau conducts all interviews out of its project offices at the Census Bureau’s New York Regional Office (NYRO). To contact the NYRO, please call (212) 584-3490.
You can also visit the Census Bureau’s NYCHVS website.
NYCHVS team member look-up
If you are visited by someone from the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS), here are some ways you can verify an individual is a Census Bureau employee:
The Field Representative will present an ID badge that includes:
- their name,
- their photograph,
- a Department of Commerce watermark, and
- an expiration date.
If you wish to independently confirm that the person at your door is a Census Bureau Field Representative you can enter their name in the Census Bureau’s staff search website or contact the NY Regional Office at 212-584-3490.
How data are used
We interview thousands of New Yorkers who are selected to represent all of New York City. Census Bureau Field Representatives ask each person a set of questions and collect their answers during the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) interview. This information is then combined so that no one person’s answers can ever be linked back to the person who provided the information.
The combined information is used to understand the many different challenges New Yorkers face. The NYCHVS is used by researchers and community groups to advocate for improvements and track how our city has changed. They are also used to improve the rent stabilization system that houses more than 2.5 million New Yorkers.
The survey’s findings appear in many different places. They are used by city planners, journalists, and students. The NYCHVS is used in many research reports, policy evaluations, and news articles. Findings are regularly reported to elected officials and have been shared in testimony to the New York City Council, the New York State Assembly, and the New York State Senate. In recent years, the NYCHVS has been used to:
- Strengthen the rent laws and improve tenant protections
- Expand eligibility for housing assistance programs for older adults and people with disabilities
- Petition for additional Federal funding for New York City
- Demonstrate how New York City’s neighborhoods have changed, including aspects of gentrification and displacement
- Describe patterns of segregation and inequality in the city
- Understand the unique housing needs of immigrant groups