Affordable Housing, Reports and Publications

Survey Offers Fresh Insights on How Americans View Housing

MacArthur Foundation

MacArthur Foundation’s second annual How Housing Matters Survey finds many Americans struggling to afford housing, with continued concern over the housing market and housing affordability.

The survey asked participants questions on a wide range of topics, including their feelings and perceptions about the following: housing affordability in their community, the current housing market, renting versus buying, homeownership as a tool to build wealth, government’s role in providing affordable housing, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, and zoning policies.

Over half (52%) of the survey’s respondents said that over the last three years they had made at least one of the following sacrifices to afford their housing: getting an additional job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care and healthy foods, running up credit card debt, or moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

According to the survey results, six in 10 (58%) Americans are concerned about a lack of quality affordable housing in their communities and think government should be doing more to make sure that there are enough affordable housing opportunities, both rental and ownership.  In the Northeast, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that finding quality affordable housing is somewhat or very challenging for young adults entering the workforce (77%) and for both lower-income families (family of 4 making $24,000, 91%) and middle-income families (family of 4, making $50,000, 67%).

In addition, the survey finds that while Americans are becoming more optimistic about the country’s housing conditions, a majority (70%) do not feel that the housing crisis is over yet. And while non-owners continue to aspire to homeownership (70%), 64% of all respondents indicated that they believe it less likely for a family to build equity and wealth through homeownership today compared to 20 or 30 years ago.

Click here to learn more about the survey and to see the full results.


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