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Title: Report of Privately-Owned Residential Building or Zoning Permits Issued (Building Permits Survey)

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Proposed collection; comment request.


The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to Start Printed Page 56814take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before December 1, 2003.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Erica Filipek, Census Bureau, Room 2105, FOB 4, Washington, DC 20233-6900, (301) 763-5161 (or via the Internet at

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I. Abstract

The Census Bureau plans to request a three year extension of a currently approved collection of the Form C-404, Building Permits Survey. The Census Bureau produces statistics used to monitor activity in the large and dynamic construction industry. Given the importance of this industry, several of the statistical series are key economic indicators. Two such series are (a) Housing Units Authorized by Building Permits and (b) Housing Starts. Both are based on data from samples of permit-issuing places. These statistics help state and local governments and the Federal Government, as well as private industry, to analyze this important sector of the economy.

The Census Bureau uses Form C-404 to collect data to provide estimates of the number and valuation of new residential housing units authorized by building permits. We use the data, a component of the index of leading economic indicators, to estimate the number of housing units started, completed, and sold, if single-family, and to select samples for the Census Bureau's demographic surveys. Policymakers, planners, businessmen/women, and others use the detailed geographic data collected from state and local officials on new residential construction authorized by building permits to monitor growth and plan for local services and to develop production and marketing plans. The Building Permits Survey is the only source of statistics on residential construction for states and smaller geographic areas. Building permits are public records so the information is not subject to disclosure restrictions.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau collects this information by mail and electronically through files we download or receive on diskettes or via e-mail.

Monthly, we currently collect this information by mail for about 8,170 permit-issuing jurisdictions and electronically for 550 jurisdictions. Annually, we collect this information by mail for about 10,180 jurisdictions. The universe for the survey will be updated in January 2004 from about 18,900 jurisdictions to 19,600 jurisdictions. A new monthly sample will also be introduced. Monthly data for 2004 will be collected for both the old and the new monthly samples. For 2004, we plan to collect monthly data for about 10,600 permit-issuing jurisdictions (at least 560 electronically), and to collect annual data for about 9,000 jurisdictions. The sample overlap will end in January 2005, thereafter, we will collect monthly data for about 8,600 jurisdictions (at least 560 electronically) and annual data for about 11,000 jurisdictions.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0094.

Form Number: C-404.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: State and local governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 19,600.

Estimated Time Per Response: 10 minutes for monthly respondents who report by mail, 3 minutes for monthly respondents who report electronically, and 25 minutes for annual respondents who report by mail.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 24,166 for 2004, 20,999 thereafter.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $323,596.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Section 182.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: September 26, 2003.

Madeleine Clayton,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 03-24960 Filed 10-1-03; 8:45 am]