Most Americans Are Worried About Affordable Housing But Neither Party Is Really Talking About It

A new poll finds that 71 percent of respondents think the presidential candidates should focus on the issue.

Seventy-one percent of Americans think that affordable housing should be a main focus of the political parties’ platforms during the 2016 presidential campaign, and 74 percent said they are more likely to support the candidate who elevates the issue, according to a new poll.

Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed identified housing affordability as an important issue for them, with 47 percent of respondents saying they have personally struggled to pay rent or a mortgage in the last year -- or know someone who has. While Republicans and Democrats both mentioned housing in their 2016 convention platforms, the issue did not figure prominently in either document. The online poll, conducted by strategic research firm Ipsos Public Affairs from July 8 to July 11, included 1,007 respondents age 18 and older. Ipsos completed the survey on behalf of Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit real estate services firm that helps build affordable housing.

“The dual challenges of rising rents and stagnant wages do not discriminate: millions of Americans, regardless of political affiliations, are struggling to afford their homes and are living in fear of an unexpected expense or reduction in hours at work leading to eviction or homelessness,” said Angela Boyd, managing director of Make Room, a public awareness campaign affiliated with Enterprise and aimed at ending the rental housing crisis in America. “Candidates for public office and current elected officials must prioritize housing affordability and be clear with voters about their plans for addressing this issue as a significant barrier to families’ financial security and our country’s economic prosperity.”

Democrats surveyed were much more likely to emphasize the importance of housing affordability than self-identified Republicans – 71 percent versus 44 percent, respectively. The issue resonated as critical particularly with younger respondents in the 18-to-34 age group (73 percent), the less affluent (65 percent), and respondents with children living at home (67 percent). The poll defined “less affluent” as earning less than $50,000 per year.

In their respective 2016 party platforms, Republicans and Democrats unsurprisingly took different approaches toward the issue of housing and homeownership. Republicans mentioned the spike in rental costs since the recession but focused on increasing homeownership and reducing the government’s role in housing. “Our goal is to advance responsible homeownership while guarding against the abuses that led to the housing collapse,” said the 2016 platform, which Republicans at the convention adopted on Monday. “We must scale back the federal role in the housing market, promote responsibility on the part of borrowers and lenders, and avoid future taxpayer bailouts.”

Republicans also called for a “comprehensive review of federal regulations, especially those dealing with the environment, that make it harder and more costly for Americans to rent, buy, or sell homes.”

The draft Democratic platform, released on July 1, said the party would increase the supply of affordable housing “by expanding incentives and easing local barriers to building new affordable rental housing developments in areas of economic opportunity.” The party said it would “substantially” boost funding for the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve and rehab “millions” of affordable housing units. “Democrats also believe that we should provide more federal resources to the people struggling most with unaffordable housing: low-income families, people with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly,” stated the draft document.

The Ipsos survey found that nearly half of all respondents didn’t recall any of the parties’ presidential hopefuls talking about affordable housing during the 22 debates of the primary season. In October, six presidential candidates – Republicans Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, and Rand Paul along with Democrat Martin O’Malley -- appeared at a housing summit in New Hampshire to discuss the issue, but it largely has been ignored on the campaign trail so far.

Respondents also didn’t think much of efforts by elected officials to provide and sustain affordable housing in their areas: Sixty-four percent said they didn’t believe Congress was doing enough to tackle the issue, while 60 percent felt the same way about their local elected officials.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.