Can private associations of home, apartment or condo owners block access to census workers?

When does your association make an exception to the regulations for restricted access to buildings or property? When the government asks for it.

Once again, the government is stepping up its efforts to count the country’s population. With the 2010 census about to begin, the US Census Bureau is asking apartment and condo associations to help them reach as many residents as possible. Since participation in the census is a federal requirement, associations must determine how census workers will gain access, especially in secure facilities.

And make no mistake: Census workers have carte blanche when it comes to gaining access and possibly gaining repeat access to fully fulfill their responsibilities. Associations cannot deny access to any pollster who has shown proper identification.

To comply with federal regulations, make sure your property managers or any security personnel understand that access must be granted to census workers. That includes allowing them access to secure buildings and whatever apartments they request. They are allowed to knock on doors, ring bells, use phone booths, etc. Additionally, there may be times when census workers need to return to the building to try to communicate with residents again. If census workers cannot locate occupants, they have the right to request information about the occupation from property managers and associations. While you are not expected to provide the information immediately, you must provide the requested information within a reasonable period of time.

But how do you know if the census worker is legitimate? All census workers will receive a census badge, which property managers can ask to see. When in doubt, contact the nearest Regional Census Center to verify the status of a surveyor.

Associations should expect to see census takers after the April 1 deadline, when all residents must return their mailed questionnaires. Planned in-person visits are scheduled from May to August this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *