NYC could lose $3 billion in federal aid over incomplete Census forms: analysis
Gotham’s ritziest neighborhoods are among the biggest laggards when it comes to filling out the 2020 Census — potentially risking the loss of $3 billion in federal funding over the next decade, a Post analysis shows.
Manhattan is home to fourteen of 20 New York neighborhoods that have the biggest gaps between the rate at which they’ve completed the 2020 Census compared to the 2010 count, according to stats compiled Friday.
And that’s an unexpected headache for the City Hall census czar Julie Menin’s effort, which has managed to get the Big Apple’s response rate within 7 points of the national average of roughly 66 percent — slashing the 14 point-gap from 2010 by more than half.
“Without a doubt we’d be close to the national average,” if it weren’t for Manhattan, she added.
Menin’s team chalks up the poor returns to wealthy Manhattanites heading upstate or out to Long Island when the coronavirus struck in the spring so they could ride out the pandemic and shutdown in more spacious environs.
The data from the Census Bureau shows there’s been no surge in forms being filed from those pandemic-escape hotspots, meaning Manhattanites simply haven’t filled out the paperwork.
The survey — required by the U.S. Constitution — takes just 10 minutes to complete and can be done online. Its results are used to determine how much money New York City gets from Washington for everything from schools to bridges to hospitals.
“For every New Yorker that doesn’t fill it out, all that means is that other states receive our funding and our Congressional seats,” said Menin, who is hitting the alarm bell over the Manhattan’s current no-show status. “This is not a time to be invisible, this is a time to stand up and be counted.”
At stake is potentially two seats in Congress and an estimated $7,000 per household in annual federal funding and support, according to a study released by the good government group Common Cause.
So, Manhattan’s failure to show up so far could cost New York City big time.
Just 43 percent of households in Midtown have filled out the Census so far — running more than 19 percentage points behind 2010, potentially costing more than $49 million in federal funding alone, a Post analysis found.
The Upper East Side is also running 19 percentage points behind its 2010 pace with only 52 percent of households completing the 2020 Census so far. That gap is worth $27 million in federal aid, according to the paper’s number crunch.
The story repeats in equally posh precincts on the West Side.
Nearly two-out-of-three households who live in Lincoln Square have completed the 2020 Census at this point, which seems impressive — until compared with 2010, when 76 percent had gotten it done.
The Lincoln Square lag alone could cost the Big Apple $59 million in federal funds.
Further south, the West Village, Greenwich Village and SoHo are all at least 10 percentage points behind 2010 pace, as of Friday, too.
All told, the 14 Manhattan neighborhoods alone cost the city $302 million a year for the next decade in federal funding — more than $3 billion — unless they get their forms back in, the Post found.
Menin’s team said they’ve partnered up with the city Board of Elections to use requests for absentee ballots sent out of town to identify New Yorkers who left the five boroughs during the spring — and will hit them with emails, phone calls and a mailer to remind them to get their paperwork in.
“Just because you were in the Catskills for a period of time does not mean that you’re not a New Yorker,” she said.
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