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Some Mass. Apartment Buildings Have Not Received Census, Say Watchdogs

Non-profit organizations working on census outreach have identified at least four Massachusetts cities with large apartment buildings that have not received any census forms.

Among them are two buildings in Worcester, two in Brockton and one in both Lynn and Springfield. Each houses between 150 and 250 people.

The head of the Census Bureau’s Boston region, Kathleen Ludgate, said her office is looking into why the buildings were missed, and that efforts are underway to get forms to all of the residents.

Ludgate said there are a few possible explanations for the missing forms.

"New construction or changing of some addresses," Ludgate said, "but in an established neighborhood, I'm not really sure what would have caused a whole building to be missed."

Holly St. Clair, director of data services at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, said the buildings appear to be in areas that are historically hard to count.

"The good news is, we're understanding this early in the process, meaning we still have a couple of weeks," St. Clair said, "and in census's views, a couple of months to address these issues and get the individuals in these apartment buildings and condos counted."

St. Clair said she doesn’t believe the missed buildings indicate a systemic problem in the way forms are distributed.

“I think it’s just the reality of trying to get every address and every place,” she said.

This program aired on April 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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