FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 7, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682
Jason Rubin, 212-863-7879



The voices of all New Yorkers are critical to the future of housing in New York City

The triennial Housing and Vacancy Survey is essential to preserve rent regulation protections for
New York City residents

Voluntary interviews can be anonymous and are being conducted in both English and Spanish with accessibility in other languages


New York, NY – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer reminds New Yorkers of the ongoing 2017 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS) and encourages all communities to participate. 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. Lack of participation will result in inaccurate results, which could put rent protections at risk.

“HPD encourages all New Yorkers selected for The Housing and Vacancy Survey to participate and make their voices heard,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “Confidentiality is assured, respondents do not have to answer questions that make them uncomfortable, and immigration status will not be questioned. Our only goal is to ensure that all communities are represented in a survey that is absolutely critical to the future of rent protections and housing policy in our city.”

Top 5 Facts for Survey Takers

  1. Participation from all New Yorkers is critical. Gathering information on the housing and neighborhood conditions of those who are most vulnerable, including members of our diverse immigrant communities, is essential to ensuring that our public policies and programs are able to effectively serve those most in need.
  1. The survey can be completed anonymously. You can answer questions without providing a name or phone number. You can skip any questions you are uncomfortable answering.
  1. Your privacy is protected. There are legal protections in place that prevent your identity and any information provided from being shared. This means that no one will know your information—it will not be shared with your landlord, with any case worker, or with anyone that helps assess your eligibility for free or low-cost services or public assistance. The information you provide will not be used in any way other than for housing research purposes. Each Census employee is sworn for life to protect the information they collect and violations carry a substantial penalty.
  1. The survey is conducted by New Yorkers. The Census Bureau hires local residents to administer the interviews.
  1. The survey does not ask your immigration status. There are questions on your country of origin and where your mother and your father were born. Answers are not required.

For more information on what the City is doing to protect immigrant New Yorkers, please visit Arrangements for interpretation and translations are available in individuals' primary languages.

Survey participants will be part of a representative sample of about 19,000 households. 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. 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.  

In addition to justifying rent stabilization laws, 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 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.