Pew: Nearly Half of Americans Call Affordable Housing a 'Major Problem'

As the housing crisis deepens, more Americans are saying housing affordability is a top concern in their community.

January 24, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


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Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock

Almost half of Americans responding to a Pew Research Center survey in October 2021 say finding affordable housing in their community is a "major problem," reports Katherine Schaeffer. An additional 36 percent call affordable housing a "minor problem," while only 14 percent don't think it's a problem at all.

People in the West expressed the highest level of concern, with 69 percent calling affordable housing a major problem. Rural residents showed less concern than urban residents: 40 percent of rural respondents called housing a major problem, while 63 percent of urban dwellers worry about affordability. But some rural communities, like Colorado's mountain towns, are experiencing their own housing crisis as new residents drive up demand and costs.

Interestingly, the results also show partisan differences: 59 percent of left-leaning respondents called affordable housing a major problem, while only 36 percent of right-leaning respondents felt the same.

The survey reflects the steep rise in home prices and rents during the pandemic that are intensifying an existing housing crisis, particularly in major cities, where demand for housing outpaces available supply. Cities and states are scrambling to implement policies that stimulate housing production and encourage increased density in the hopes of relieving pressure on the overheated housing market.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 in Pew Research Center

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