Americans overwhelmingly believe that housing affordability should be a top national priority, according to a new public opinion poll from the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.
In the poll, commissioned through Hart Research Associates, 85% of respondents said they believe that ensuring everyone has a safe and affordable place to live should get national attention. The question also generated strong support across all political parties, with 95% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 73% of Republicans saying it should be a national priority, respectively.
An overwhelming majority—90%—said they believe the nation should do more to prevent homelessness and 68% feel the government is doing too little to ensure affordable homes for Americans.
Respondents also expect attention from elected officials. Eight in 10 respondents said the president and Congress should “take major action” to make housing more affordable for low-income households. In addition, 78% said government has an important role to ensure there are enough affordable places to live and 82% said it is very or fairly important for elected leaders to address housing affordability.
“This poll is a call to action,” said Mike Koprowski, national campaign director of Opportunity Starts at Home, a multi-sector coalition launched by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to advance housing solutions for low-income Americans. “A stronger federal response to the housing affordability crisis is long overdue. Without question, these results show that elected officials indeed have a mandate from the public to take bold action.”
Americans also personally are concerned about the rising costs of housing, according to the poll, with 89% saying it’s a “big problem” when households spend more than half of their income on housing costs. Of the survey respondents, 61% said they have made at least one sacrifice—such as taking an additional job, cutting back on healthy food or health care, and skipping bills—in the past three years to pay for housing.
The campaign unveiled the polling results during a plenary session at the NLIHC’s Housing Policy Forum as well as issued an open letter to all current and future presidential candidates encouraging them to make the nation’s affordability crisis a priority in their campaign platforms.