Arizona cities win appeals of Census’ count of group quarters

Population growth is nothing new in booming Arizona, but that growth usually comes with moving trucks.
Over the past year, however, five Arizona cities and towns managed to
add 10,000 residents without a moving truck or a packing box in sight.That’s because the cities successfully appealed their reported
populations in the 2020 Census, under a new pandemic-inspired program
that allowed local governments to challenge the bureau’s count of group
living quarters such as dorms, prisons, group homes and more.“I was worried that many populations, including communities of color
and those in group housing were not counted accurately,” Phoenix Mayor
Kate Gallego said in a recent interview.There’s more than bragging rights at stake for local governments –
there’s the potential for additional state and federal funding.“Estimates done reveal that for every individual counted, the city
could earn thousands of dollars, thereby amounting to millions of
dollars per year in federal funding for Phoenix,” said a May news
release from Gallego’s office on the review.Phoenix was the last Arizona city to hear back from the Census
Bureau, which confirmed late last month that it had missed 192 group
living quarters in the city, leaving out 3,550 residents in the process.
Those included multiple residential substance-use treatment centers,
medical and mental illness centers. The original count also missed the
Federal Correctional Institute and Estrella Jail in Phoenix.Tempe, Goodyear, Yuma and Florence also mounted successful challenges under the bureau’s 2020 Post-Census Group Quarters
Review, reporting miscounts in correctional facilities, university
dormitories and group homes. All the cities have been told by the bureau
that some or all of their appeals had been accepted.

Jacob Payne, a city planner for Tempe, said the 2020 count left out
multiple Arizona State University dormitories that housed about 4,300
students on April 1, 2020, when the decennial census was conducted.Payne said that since Tempe has seen a continued rise in residential
development, it was “jarring” to see a drop in population and housing
units when the city got its census results.The group quarters review program was launched last summer after the
bureau reported unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That created challenges not just with enumeration but also with people’s
sudden shifts in housing location in response to the pandemic.The group-quarters review is just one of the opportunities tribal,
local and state governments have to challenge the census numbers. The Count Question
Resolution Operation has been held after each decennial count since
1990. It’s less focused on how many people were counted than on where
they were reported to be living, with local governments able to appeal
if they think some residents were assigned to the wrong city or to the
wrong Census block.Tempe is still waiting to hear about its challenge under that
program, but the bureau said it has notified Flagstaff, Somerton,
Wellton, Chandler and Yuma that it will make varying amounts of changes
based on cases they filed.Local governments have until June 30 to file a claim under either
program. The longtime count question resolution program has received 93
claims while the one-time group quarters review program received 48
cases nationwide.Florence spokesperson Jeff Graves said the group quarters challenge
allowed the town to add 786 residents who were housed in two state
prison complexes but overlooked. With the town getting between $500 to
$600 per person in state funding under various programs, Graves said the
additional population could bring the city anywhere from $384,000 to
$460,000 in funding.Accepted reviews will not change the 2020 Census count but will
adjust future annual population estimates, influencing the amount of
federal and state funding available.Tom Savage, legislative director for the League of Arizona Cities and
Towns, said disregarding Census appeals and not having an accurate
count means receiving less money for the latter half of the decade to
pay for roads, public safety, parks, libraries, governments and more.“The undercount has ramifications for the entire decade,” Savage
said. “(It) means potentially less money coming back to the state for
taxes that Arizona citizens are sending to the federal government.”

See the full article on Arizona residential development, or, read more Arizona real estate investing news. Feel free to share our site with your investor friends.