Survey: Americans Want Government Action on Affordable Housing

The findings of the Housing Works survey, released earlier this month, suggest that the cost of housing is a pervasive concern among Americans, even if Americans aren't sure they support the kinds of measures necessary to improve the problem.
June 23, 2014, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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J.B. Wogan reports on the "How Housing Works" survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the MacArthur Foundation. The big take away from the study: " A majority of Americans (58 percent) think their state and local governments should do more to ensure communities have enough affordable housing."

"The survey's results also suggest that the insufficient supply of affordable housing isn’t just a problem for the urban poor. About 58 percent of respondents said they thought it would be difficult for a family of four earning $50,000 a year -- about twice the poverty line -- to find quality affordable housing in their communities. Even when accounting for the type of community (city, suburbs, small town or rural), the majority of respondents said it was challenging to find quality affordable housing to rent or buy."

But here's a catch: when it came to suggesting the types of changes necessary to increase the supply of housing in some areas, the study "suggests that communities aren’t supportive of changes to zoning that would allow for increases in supply to decrease the cost of units." In fact, "[more] respondents (52 percent) said they favored keeping the current zoning in place than removing regulations (36 percent) or doing both (9 percent)."

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Published on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in Governing
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