CDBG Income Survey Toolkit

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Income Survey Toolkit provides resources and information on how to conduct a local income survey that meets HUD’s guidelines. The goal of an income survey is to help determine the percentage of low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons in the service area of a proposed CDBG activity.

CDBG Guidebook for Conducting Local Income Surveys

The Guidebook includes detailed instructions on how to undertake an income survey, focusing on using online and in-person data collection.

The Guidebook takes the reader step-by-step through the entire survey process:

  • Determining eligibility
  • Calculating sample size
  • Cleaning the sample list
  • Conducting the survey
  • Calculating the results

Please note that these materials were developed before the COVID-19 pandemic. It is recommended to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local guidance before conducting in-person surveys.

View the Guidebook

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Close up of a person taking a survey

Survey Instruments

The Survey123 and Microsoft Forms surveys include Spanish translations. Additional details on the in-person and mail-out paper surveys can be found in the Guidebook.

All the survey instruments and the income card must be updated with current income limits for local areas. You may find the most recent income limits on the CDBG Income Limits page on the HUD Exchange.

Survey applications:
  • Qualtrics Income Survey (Advanced Online Survey Tool: Qualtrics) (QSF)
  • Survey123 Elements (Advanced Mobile Tool Development: Esri Users) (ZIP)
  • Fulcrum Income Survey (Advanced Mobile Tool Development: Fulcrum) (fulcrumapp)
  • Microsoft Forms (The link to access the template can be found in the User Guide in the next section)
Paper surveys:

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User Guides

Each user guide provides details on how to use one of the survey applications discussed in the Guidebook. The Microsoft Forms guide provides instructions on how to access its survey instrument.

Please read each guide carefully before modifying the survey applications.

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Outreach Materials

All materials should be customized with local seals and letterhead, as appropriate.

All items are translated into Spanish, which may be found on the second page of most documents.

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Excel Tools

Data collected in Survey123, Fulcrum, Microsoft Forms, or Qualtrics can be copied into the appropriate Excel workbook below for analysis. In addition, all of the spreadsheets can be used to input data manually from a paper survey or other source. The tools will calculate the percentage of persons in the sample who are low- or moderate-income. To use the manual data calculations, you will need to add the local area LMI income limits using the CDBG Income Limits.

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Case Management Resources

Case management helps track the number of attempts made to survey any given respondent (or address) and whether the attempts were successful. The case management process document can be customized with details for your area and used for reference. The paper case log can be printed and shared with the team to track their experiences in the field at the end of the day. Once collected, the information from the paper logs can be entered into the shared log.