Empty houses are hard to survey, but that's the challenge facing census workers in the Chicago area, where foreclosures and vacancies are weighing down response rates. This isn't just a predicament for the U.S. Census Bureau, it's a problem for these communities and their residents. Each uncounted resident could cost Chicago $1,200 per year.
The latest figures from the Woodstock Institute show that there were 9,302 completed foreclosure auctions in the six-county Chicago region during the first quarter of 2010. That's up 56 percent from the same quarter a year ago, and up 79.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.
This marked the most foreclosure auction activity in that area since the housing disaster began in 2006.