LUCA is the only opportunity offered to tribal, state and local governments to review and comment on the U.S. Census Bureau's residential address list for their jurisdiction prior to the 2020 Census.
Census forms are sent to housing units, not to people; thus, Census 2020 won't be accurate if the Census Bureau doesn't know about all the housing units in an area. Despite their best efforts, there is no way the Census Bureau can replicate the knowledge local governments possess about their communities.
The LUCA program provides the opportunity for local officials to review the addresses used by the Census Bureau in order to ensure an accurate census.
Because LUCA underlies the distribution of the Census forms and fieldworker follow-up on non-responding households, it matters for all of the same reasons the Census matters. Undercounting the population in your community can have damaging impacts on your jurisdiction for an entire decade.
This is your one opportunity to make sure all housing units in your community are accounted for. You cannot go to the Census Bureau after Census 2020 and tell them they missed a housing unit, an apartment complex or a group quarters. Even if you can prove people were missed, if the housing unit in question was not on the master address file prior to enumeration, you are out of luck.
Many Indiana cities and towns have grown through annexation within the past decade. Is your jurisdiction one of them? A fair number of those have updated their boundaries through the annual Boundary and Annexation Survey, but some have not. LUCA will be your best opportunity to make sure the Census Bureau has an accurate geographic boundary for your jurisdiction prior the Census. If they don't, the bureau will not be able to compile accurate data for your community once data from Census 2020 start pouring in (well, you can request retabulations, but it isn't easy and it's not free).
Despite the moaning over high gas prices, Hoosiers still love to drive and the past 10 years have seen many new roads constructed. LUCA enables local governments to update the street file. Many companies and organizations around the country use the shapefiles developed by the Census Bureau in their own GIS systems, so there is more at stake than just making sure the Census Bureau knows where your roads are. Between censuses, very few additions to the road files are made, so it is in your best interest to make sure these files are accurate now. Otherwise, you'll have to deal with outdated data for an entire decade.
Download LUCA training materials (zipped compressed file).
Download this list of FAQs compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.