U.S. Department of Commerce

Buiding Permits Survey

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Building Permits Survey Respondents FAQs

 

1. What is considered privately-owned construction?

Privately-owned construction is defined as buildings owned or partially owned by a private company or individual at the time the building permit is issued. This includes houses built by nonprofit organizations and "Turnkey" housing, i.e. housing owned privately during construction to be sold to a public housing authority when completed. Also, housing units built with private/public partnerships (such as military housing built by private developers) would be considered privately-owned construction.

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2. How do I report housing permits when our local government or the federal government is listed as the owner?

You don't. Housing units that are completely owned by local or federal jurisdictions are considered publicly-owned and are not included in this survey. However, include housing owned and built by a private contractor and turned over to a public government agency upon completion, i.e. (Turnkey) contracts. Units built with private/public partnerships (such as military housing built by private developers) should also be included.

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3. What is an attached single-family residence?

Attached single-family houses meet all of the following criteria:

  1. are side-by-side with no other units above or below,
  2. are separated from adjoining units by a wall that extends from ground to roof,
  3. have separate heating systems, and
  4. have separate utility meters.

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4. How do I classify attached single-family housing?

Include all new privately-owned attached single-family houses in Section 3b on the C-404 form or in Section b on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page, if reporting via Internet. (See III3: What is an attached single-family residence?)

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5. Are condominiums and cooperatives classified in this survey?

Condominiums and cooperatives are considered types of home ownership, and this survey is only concerned with the structure of the residence. If the structure meets the criteria for an attached or detached single-family residence, then it is classified as single-family in Section 3b on the C-404 form or in Section b on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page, if reporting via Internet. If they meet the criteria for multifamily units, then classify in Section 3c, 3d, or 3e as appropriate on the C-404 form or in Section c, d or e on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page, if reporting via Internet. If you have questions regarding structure classifications, please call us at 1-800-845-8244 or email us at MCD.RCB.BPS@census.gov.

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6. Where do I classify a "duplex"?

Classify the units according to how the structure is built:

  1. enter data in Section 3b on the C-404 form or Section b on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page via Internet for attached single-family homes (See III3: What is an attached single-family residence?) meeting this criteria.
  2. enter data in Section 3c on the C-404 form or Section c on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page via Internet if units do not meet all attached single-family homes criteria.

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7. Do I include rebuilt homes in this survey?

Include rebuilt homes only when the home is totally rebuilt on an existing foundation. If the rebuilt home is attached to an existing structure (wall, chimney, etc.), it is not included in the survey.

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8. How do I classify a moved or relocated residence?

A moved or relocated residence is not considered new construction and is not included in the survey.

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9. What other building permits do I exclude?

Exclude permits issued for projects such as:

  • publicly-owned buildings
  • nonresidential buildings
  • moved or relocated buildings
  • farm buildings, such as silos, barns, etc.
  • manufactured (mobile) HUD inspected homes including related foundations and placement pads
  • group quarters, such as dormitories, jails, nursing homes, etc.
  • hotels/motels
  • other structures on residential property, such as sheds, garages, pools, etc., when permitted separately
  • landscaping
  • demolitions
  • maintenance and repair, which are expenses to keep a property in ordinary working condition
  • residential additions, alterations, renovations and conversions
  • inspections
  • certificates of occupancy for residential construction
  • separate permits issued for mechanical, electrical or plumbing work
  • reissued expired permits if construction plans have not changed

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10. Do I include foundation and interior finish permits in this survey?

Yes; include foundation and interior permits when they are issued separately and show a valuation of construction. To eliminate double counting, do not list buildings and units when reporting foundation and interior permits. Please enter a zero for units and buildings. Enter the valuation of construction under the appropriate type of structure listed in Section (3b-3e) on the C-404 form or Section b-e on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure page, if reporting via Internet. Buildings and units are reported when the superstructure permit is issued.

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11. Are senior citizen dwellings included in this survey?

Senior citizen dwellings, assisted living facilities, and congregate care are counted in this survey, unless the structure is intended for 24-hour skilled nursing care. Some structures have units that are established for residents requiring 24-hour nursing care; please exclude these units from your data. If the residents will require 24-hour skilled nursing care, these facilities are usually called "nursing homes" and require the skill of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or professional therapist. Exclude all units that require 24-hour skilled nursing care. If you are not sure how to classify these units, please call us at 1-800-845-8244 or email us at MCD.RCB.BPS@census.gov.

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12. Where do I classify nonresidential construction projects?

You don't. This survey excludes nonresidential construction. Please do not list nonresidential construction on this questionnaire.

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13. Where do I report new privately-owned residential/commercial rental property?

Some building permit offices issue permits for residential rental properties, such as assisted living facilities and apartments, as commercial permits. These type of permits are in the scope of the Building Permits Survey and should be reported on the C-404 form or submitted via Internet.

Other commercial permits issued, such as those for professional buildings, churches, manufacturing plants, stores, hospitals, etc., are not in the scope of this survey.

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14. How do I report new residential buildings that include commercial office space?

Include all new housing units in mixed use buildings (buildings with residential and nonresidential space). Report the valuation of construction as an estimate for the residential portion of the structure only.

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15. Do I include Housing Projects valued at $1,000,000 or more? If so, where?

Yes; Residential construction with a valuation of $1,000,000 or more should be detailed in Section 4 and included in Section 3 on the C-404 form or on the New Housing Units by Type of Structure and Additional Information on Permits Valued at $1,000,000 or More pages, if reporting via Internet. Please do not list nonresidential structures.

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16. How do I report permits for a multifamily building when individual units are permitted separately?

In order to publish our building permit data correctly, we need to know the total number of units that will be in a multifamily building. Do not report each individual permit separately on the C-404 form or via Internet. When the first units of a mulitfamily building are authorized, report the total number of buildings, units and valuation expected for the entire project. If this is not known, indicate this in the Comments Section on the C-404 form or the Comments page, if reporting via Internet.

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17. This month I learned about a permit that was cancelled or abandoned. Do I need to submit a correction to the survey period(s) where it was initially reported?

No; We collect the number of new housing units authorized for residential construction, at the time the permit was issued. We do not collect data on units abandoned or cancelled permits.

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18. Should I report reissued expired permits?

You should report reissued expired permits only if there are significant changes to construction plans.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Building Permits | (301) 763-5160 |  Last Revised: June 28, 2012