Press Releases

Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Critical to Prevent Census Undercount

REDWOOD CITY, CA April 2, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Perla Ni, (650) 249-3792,

The clock has started ticking for tribal, state, and local governments to add to the U.S. Census Bureau’s residential address list for the 2020 Census. This Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) process is even more critical in the current political environment, as increased challenges are expected in encouraging participation of immigrant and other hard-to-reach communities. Addresses not included in Census Master Address File are unlikely to be counted, whether through outreach or estimation.

The Census Master Address File is often incomplete because it’s missing unconventional types of housing where low-income people live. “We know that many families are living in garages and back-units because of the extraordinary cost of housing here. And we know that we’re not counting many of those families,” said San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo.

Research shows that as much as one-third of total undercount of low-income minority and immigrant families stems from the place a household lives being left out of the Census Bureau’s Master Address File.

Community-based address canvassing is an effective way to address the issue — pilots in San Jose, San Francisco and Fresno identified and added up to 6% additional households to the Census Bureau address list, according to census researcher Ed Kissam of the WK Fund.

“Using the CommunityConnect Labs’ text-based tool to conduct community-based address canvassing is easy and rapid to implement,” says Jacob Model, VP of Data and Research at CommunityConnect Labs. “Training canvassers takes half a day, or less and canvassers can easily submit automatically geo-coded locations on housing units they identify in a format conforming to Census Bureau specifications.”

However, there is a very short window of opportunity for local government.  LUCA submission deadlines for local governments are June or July of 2018.

“Differential undercount of minorities and immigrants keeps local communities from getting their fair share of census-driven federal program funding and securing equitable political representation,” says Perla Ni, CEO of Community-Connect Labs.  “Community-Based Address Canvassing is a safe and easy way for local governments to prevent an undercount by submitting a complete LUCA list.”

For more Information on Community-Based Address Canvassing, see our webinar with Institute for Local Government, CommunityConnect Labs, WK Fund and City of San Jose:

CommunityConnect Labs enables nonprofits, governments, agencies, foundations and mission-driven companies to generate fast, affordable, and reliable data from low-income communities through the innovative use of SMS technology. For more information, visit and


3/30/2018 "120 Day Deadline: How Local Governments Can Conduct Community-Based Address Canvassing to Ensure Low-Income People Are Counted"