FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 31, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682



Conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the triennial Housing and Vacancy Survey calculates the vacancy rate, key to determining the continuation of rent regulation laws.

As local NYC survey teams begin interviewing a representative sample of residents, officials encourage New Yorkers to make their voices heard.

Interviews are being conducted in both English and Spanish for the first time in the survey’s history.


New York, NY – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been announces the start of the 2017 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS). The survey is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau at the request of the City of New York about every three years. The survey is required by State and City rent-regulation laws to determine New York City’s overall vacancy rate for rental housing. A rental vacancy rate below five percent triggers the declaration of a “housing emergency,” which is necessary for the continuation of rent regulation protections for New York City residents.

The survey also evaluates the city’s overall housing inventory, neighborhood and housing conditions, wheelchair accessibility, rental and ownership rates, utility costs, and the city’s median income and rent levels. The HVS is an important resource for housing policy reforms and programs.

“The Housing Vacancy Survey is not only critical to determining whether rent regulation in New York City should be extended, it provides an invaluable snapshot of citywide housing conditions that will inform housing policy decisions for years to come. I urge those of you selected for the survey to participate--your voice will make a difference in the lives of millions of New Yorkers and on the future of our City,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “I want to thank the U.S. Census Bureau for their partnership in this important data collection, and look forward to reviewing the results.”

"I look forward to the findings of the survey. As Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, I see firsthand the struggles that arise because of a lack of affordable, quality housing in the City. New York has been in a housing crisis for years and it's time we assess what is working and what is not. As legislators it's important we implement and improve initiatives that will promote increased housing options at affordable rates. It's my hope that the results of this survey make this need even more clear," said New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

Survey participants will be part of a representative sample of about 19,000 households from the 2010 census and updated to include newly constructed, renovated and converted units. The sample was selected at random and is representative of all New York City housing types. It includes single family homes, apartments, condominiums, coops, and public housing, among others. Each household selected to participate in the survey will represent the voices of about 170 of their neighbors’ households. This is why it is so important for all selected households to answer survey questions. Every answer is held confidential and all Census Bureau employees are sworn for life to protect the privacy of survey participants and their answers.  The Census Bureau hires local New Yorkers to conduct the survey. 

Participation in the survey is voluntary, but the thirty minutes it takes to complete the survey will have a real impact in securing better, more affordable, and safer housing for millions of New Yorkers.  

The survey is expected to run through May 2017. The initial findings will be released in early 2018.

For more information on the survey, visit the U.S. Census Bureau website or visit HPD’s New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey webpage for more information and past survey results.


The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.