The Census Project, a coalition of organizations dedicated to a fair and accurate census, sent a letter to all members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees supporting President Barak Obama’s FY16 budget request of $1.5 billion for the Census Bureau. The letter stresses the importance of planning for the 2020 decennial census and the American Community Survey (ACS). NLIHC joined 74 other organizations signing the letter dated February 25.
The request includes $663 million for 2020 Census planning, an amount necessary to begin implementing production of a modern, less costly Census in 2020 that could save more than $5 billion over the lifecycle of the census. In light of recent budget shortfalls, it is critical that the Census Bureau receive the full amount requested in FY16. Without adequate resources to test new initiatives, the Census Bureau will have to revert to older, more costly methods.
The President’s budget request also includes $257 million for the ACS. However, the Administration proposes canceling the three-year ACS estimates, an annual dataset that combines three years of ACS data and provides the highest quality demographic and socioeconomic estimates for localities with a population range of 20,000 to 64,999, which include one-third of the nation’s counties. In its letter, the Census Project urges Senate and House Appropriations Committee members to restore funding for this important dataset. NLIHC and other affordable housing organizations use these data to determine the need for affordable housing at the county level. The three-year estimates are also used to determine the amount of funding that states will receive from the National Housing Trust Fund.
The letter to Senate appropriators is available at http://www.thecensusproject.org/letters/fy16budget/CensusProject-FY16AppropriationsLetter-Feb2015-Final-SenateCJS.pdf.
The letter to House appropriators is available at http://www.thecensusproject.org/letters/fy16budget/CensusProject-FY16AppropriationsLetter-Feb2015-Final-HouseCJS.pdf.
Learn more about The Census Project at http://www.thecensusproject.org/