Poll: Housing and Homelessness Most Pressing Concerns for Urban Residents

Results show rising housing costs and housing insecurity have become top issues for residents of major cities across the country.

September 23, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Francisco Housing

Pixabay / Pexels

A poll by the Manhattan Institute and Echelon Insights indicates that housing costs and homelessness have overtaken other issues including COVID-19 and public safety as top concerns for urban Americans. "This poll takes place after more than a year of skyrocketing housing prices," writes Jerusalem Demsas. "The Case-Shiller Index, a leading measure of US home prices, showed in June that prices had increased 18.6 percent since the previous year," with prices rising even more sharply in attractive metropolitan areas.

"Unlike most national polls about housing affordability, this one asked respondents about which solutions they’d apply in their cities. Two-thirds strongly or somewhat support allowing 'more housing to be built near transit stops,' an important solution since transit-oriented development is necessary to create affordable, walkable, and climate-friendly neighborhoods." In growing metro areas, 68 percent of respondents "agreed that they would support 'expediting and streamlining the approvals process so it is easier to begin building more housing' in their city."

However, writes Demsas, "it’s possible that people would oppose specific new housing projects in their communities, even if they agree with the broad principle that building more housing in their city is good." Nevertheless, the poll results show that "anger over the lack of new affordable housing has reached a crescendo."

Thursday, September 16, 2021 in Vox

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