You Count in the 2020 Census!

New Jersey Needs Everyone to Be Counted to Ensure Adequate Funding to End Homelessness

The Center for Non-Profits recently published an article encouraging all New Jerseyans to participate in the 2020 Census. According to the Center, if enough individuals do not to complete the Census, New Jersey could lose significant federal funding for many critical federally funded programs.

The programs at risk include many housing-related programs. Specifically, funding for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers  and CDBG Entitlement Grants could decrease if the 2020 Census reports a decreased population in New Jersey. Advocates and attendees of the 2019 Congressional Reception know that the Housing Choice Voucher Program is one of the most effective tools used to reduce poverty and end homelessness. Read more about our Federal Policy Priorities or the 2019 Congressional Reception.

After the Trump administration proposed adding a question about citizenship status, the 2020 Census became a major concern for many Americans. Individuals were concerned that answering the citizenship question could adversely affect their safety. In anticipation of the newly proposed question, many individuals reported planning to skip the Census altogether. Because the Census dictates the number of U.S. Representatives per state, electoral votes per state, the level of funding for certain vital programs per state, and more, advocates across New Jersey and the United State were concerned about this.

However, on Thursday, June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Commerce Department, led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, from adding this potentially detrimental question to the Census next year. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who was one of five Justices voting to block the question, saying the question “seems to have been contrived.”

We can now breathe a sigh of relief that the citizenship question will not be on the Census. The Center for Non-Profits is still encouraging all New Jerseyans to complete the Census. Advocates for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs must encourage participation in the 2020 Census to prevent a decrease in housing-related funding for New Jersey.

Ways you can help make sure that everyone in New Jersey gets counted include joining local Complete Count efforts, signing the Census Pledge, and getting organized! For more information on their specific recommendations for getting involved, see the Center’s article Why Everyone Must Count in 2020.