U.S. Department of Commerce

New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS)

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You are here: Census.govPeople and HouseholdsNew York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) MainAboutAbout New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey › Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. What is the sample size and how is it designed?
  3. Who are the respondents?
  4. Who sponsors the survey and what is the legal authority?
  5. How often is the survey taken?
  6. How are survey results made available?
  7. What is the historical background?
  8. What is the future outlook?
  9. Who pays to conduct the survey?

What is the purpose?  back to top

To determine the vacancy rate for New York City's rental stock, as required by law. New York City also uses the data to measure the quality and quantity of housing and the demographic characteristics of the city's residents.


What is the sample size and how is it designed?  back to top

The sample includes approximately 19,000 units selected from the 2010 census address list for New York City. The sample is supplemented with additional units selected from new certificates of occupancy, lists of formerly nonresidential space converted to residential use, and lists of in-rem units. The survey uses clusters of up to four housing units selected from the sampling frame.


Who are the respondents?  back to top

Any knowledgeable adult household member for occupied housing units is eligible. If the unit is vacant, respondents will include realtors, building managers, building superintendents, and knowledgeable neighbors.


Who sponsors the survey and what is the legal authority?  back to top

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYCHPD) sponsors the survey. Local authorization of the survey is pursuant to the Local Emergency Housing Rent Control Act (Chapter 8603, Laws of New York, as amended by Chapter 657; Laws of New York, 1967), Sections 26-414 and 26-415 of the Administrative Code of the City. Confidentiality of the respondents is protected under Title 13, Section 9, United States Code.


How often is the survey taken?  back to top

The NYCHVS is taken every 3 years.


How are survey results made available?  back to top

The Census Bureau does not publish the results of the NYCHVS in a formal manner as it does for other surveys. However, the following products are available:

  • A set of tabulations from the surveys taken in 2011, 2008, 2005, 2002, and 1999 are available from this site.
  • A public use microdata file containing nonidentifiable individual records from the 2011 survey.
  • Longitudinal microdata files linking records from the 1991, 1993, 1996, and 1999 surveys, and longitudinal file linking 2002, 2005, and 2008 results.

What is the historical background?  back to top

The Census Bureau has conducted this survey for New York City since 1965. We selected a new sample, based on the 1990 census, for the 1991 survey. At that time, the questionnaire was revised to collect more extensive income, employment, and demographic characteristics. The 1996 questionnaire was expanded to include questions on handicapped-accessibility of housing units. The 1999 survey included newly-devised questions on the immigration status of each householder, and detailed questions on rental subsidies. Samples selected for 2002, 2005, and 2008 were based on the Census 2000 address file and had some new questions added on health conditions and neighborhood opinion. Beginning with the 2011 survey, the sample was selected from the 2010 Census address file and had some new questions added on rental assistance, energy assistance, grab bars, and whether anyone in the household (65 or older) had fallen in the past 3 months.


What is the future outlook?  back to top

We plan to take a NYCHVS in 2014 if the City of New York opts to fund the project.


Who pays to conduct the survey?  back to top

The City of New York assumes all survey costs.



Source: U.S. Census Bureau | New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS) |  Last Revised: 2013-04-26T11:04:49.117-04:00