Allow Census Workers Access! An Urgent Message from the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums (CNYC):

The Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC) has issued a notice to its members that many New York buildings are preventing census enumerators—the Census Bureau’s carefully trained and vetted workers who visit households in person to collect census information from those who have not yet submitted by mail or online—from entering the building, despite having the requisite credentials. 

Why does this matter? Because full census participation is essential for states and communities to receive the funding and Congressional representation that their populations merit - and are entitled to. A census must be conducted every 10 years according to United States federal law.

This decade, collection of census data happened to coincide with the emergence of the coronavirus crisis in our state. Although New Yorkers have had six months to easily submit household information either online or by phone or by completing census forms that have been mailed at least once to every household, according to CNYC, New York City and State are still woefully underrepresented in the count.  

Census enumerators are now visiting all households that have not completed the census to get their information in person. The NYC Office of the Census has reached out to CNYC directly to remind property owners and building managers that federal law requires that they grant access to census enumerators. All staff responsible for building access should be notified of the Census Bureau’s current operations and requirements and instructed to allow access for the census.

Since census participation is in the best interest of all New Yorkers, the CNYC also asks building owners and managers to encourage residents to complete the census form if they haven’t yet done so—it takes only minutes to complete online or by phone and will avoid a door knock! CNYC recommends sending a reminder email to all residents and allowing the placement of census posters in common areas to encourage participation. 

New York’s Congressional representation and share of federal funds hang in the balance!  

The following Notice from NYC Census provides further explanation.


United States Census Bureau employees (enumerators) are currently conducting in-person, door-to-door 

census completion operations in New York City.

Participation in the U.S. Census is required by federal law

(Title 13, Chapter 7, Sub II).

To ensure compliance with this law, it is imperative that property owners and building managers grant access to census enumerators.

All staff responsible for building access should be notified of the Census Bureau’s current operation.

The 2020 Census, which is an official count of all persons residing in the United States that happens once every 10 years and is required by the United States Constitution, began in the spring of this year. Since then, households across the nation have been able to self-respond to the census online or via phone.

However, not all households complete the census on their own. In response to this, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Non-Response Follow Up (NRFU) operation, where enumerators knock on doors and collect census information from households. Census enumerators started visiting households across the city on August 6 and will continue through September 30, 2020.

Key facts about NRFU:

  • When possible, enumerators will contact property managers before they conduct interviews. Please be advised this is not always possible.

  • All enumerators have undergone extensive background checks and fingerprinting, and have been certified to work by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

  • All enumerators will have a photo identification badge with a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. In addition, all enumerators will carry a bag with the logo of the United States Census Bureau, and any devices they have will also be marked with the Bureau’s logo.

  • If you or tenants have questions about the veracity of person’s identity, you can call 212-882-7100 to speak with a Census Bureau representative and confirm their employment.

  • All enumerators have completed a training on social distancing. They are required to wear a face mask at all times, never enter homes, and stay 6 feet away when conducting interviews.

  • If a resident is not home, enumerators will leave a note on the door with information on how to respond to the census.

  • After a household has completed the census, there may be additional visits to ensure data quality.

  • If residents do not respond, building staff may be asked for information on the residents in the unit. Staff cooperation in this matter is strongly encouraged.

    Any questions or concerns please call NYC Census at (347) 698-1095.

    Related Articles

    Census 2020

    Be Counted Safely During COVID-19

    Keys, Key Fobs, and Door Codes

    Controlling Access to Your Building

    COVID-19 vs. Building and Unit Access

    Who Gets In?