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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Housing Starts, Sales, and Completions

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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 take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before April 3, 2006.


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 Erica.mary.filipek

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I. Abstract

The Census Bureau plans to request an extension of the current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of the Survey of Housing Starts, Sales and Completions, also known as the Survey of Construction (SOC), to collect monthly data on new residential construction from a sample of owners or builders. The Census Bureau uses the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) electronic questionnaires SOC-QI/SF.1 and SOC-QI/MF.1 to collect data on start and completion dates of construction, physical characteristics of the structure (floor area, number of bathrooms, type of heating system, etc), and if applicable, date of sale, sales price, and Start Printed Page 5238type of financing. The SOC program provides widely used measures of construction activity, including the economic indicators Housing Starts and Housing Completions, which are from the New Residential Construction series, and New Residential Sales.

We sample about 2,350 new buildings each month (28,200 per year). We inquire about the progress of each building multiple times until it is completed (and a sales contract is signed, if it is a single-family house that is built for sale). We conduct an average of 6.25 interviews for each building sampled. The total number of interviews conducted each year is about 176,250. Each interview takes 5 minutes on average. Therefore the total annual burden is 14,688 hours.

We do not plan any changes to the SOC-QI/SF.1 and SOC-QI/MF.1 forms.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau uses its field representatives to collect the data. The field representatives conduct interviews to obtain data.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0110.

Form Number: SOC-QI/SF.1 and SOC-QI/MF.1.

Type of Review: Regular review.

Affected Public: Individuals or households, business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 28,200.

Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 14,688.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $386,441. The estimated cost is based on an average hourly pay for respondent to be $26.31. This estimate was taken from the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey for 2004.

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: January 26, 2006.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E6-1298 Filed 1-31-06; 8:45 am]