A significant majority of Americans believe the county is still not past the housing crisis that began seven years ago, according to a new survey of housing attitudes by the MacArthur Foundation.
Three in five Americans (61%) believe we are either “still in the middle” of the housing crisis (41%) or “the worst is yet to come” (20%). While this is an improvement from 2014 (a combined 70%), and 2013 (77%), the findings show lingering pessimism about housing affordability.
“Decent housing at an affordable price remains a challenge for an increasing number of Americans, even after the recession has formally ended,” said Julia Stasch, MacArthur president, in a statement. “It is disturbing that people feel the American dream and prospects for social mobility are receding. This survey is a wake-up call. People want and expect solutions to the housing crisis to be a higher priority for both national and local leaders alike.”
Half of the public (55%) reports having had to make at least one sacrifice or tradeoff in the past three years in order to cover their rent or mortgage. One in five (21%) reports having to get an additional job or work more, 17% stopped saving for retirement, 14% accumulated credit card debt, and 12% cut back on healthy nutritious foods.
The segments of the public having to make tradeoffs at the highest rates include renters (73%), racial minorities (68% of Hispanics and 62% of African Americans), Millennials (67%), and city dwellers (64%).
Majorities of Americans continue to believe that it is challenging to find affordable rental housing in their own communities (58% in both 2014 and 2015), and housing to purchase (60% in 2015, 59% in 2014), and even more challenging for families at the median income (65%), young adults (80%), or families at the poverty level (89%).
The 2015 How Housing Matters survey is the third annual national survey of housing attitudes conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation. Hart Research Associates interviewed 1,401 adults.
For more information, visit the MacArthur Foundation.