Housing Affordability a Key Issue for Six in Ten Americans

Three Quarters More Likely to Support a Political Candidate Who Made Housing Affordability a Focus of their Campaign

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Washington, DC – More than half of all Americans say that housing affordability is a key issue for them (59%), including a quarter (24%) who strongly agree with this statement, according to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Enterprise. In fact, 47% of those surveyed say that they have personally struggled to pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months, or know someone who has been in this situation.

  • Housing affordability is especially likely to be a key issue for younger respondents, especially those ages 18-34 (73%), the less affluent (65%, earning less than $50,000 annually), and those with children living at home (67%). Democrats are also significantly more likely to emphasize the importance of housing affordability compared to Republicans (71% vs. 44%, respectively).
  • Similarly, those ages 18-34 (61%), the less affluent (61%), and self-identified Democrats (51%) are more likely to know someone who has struggled to pay their rent/ mortgage recently – or to have struggled with this themselves – this time along with women (51% vs. 43% men), and those with no college degree (55% vs. 40% college degree).
  • One in five Americans (20%, ranked 1,2) rate housing affordability as being an issue that directly affects them and the community in which they live in the most, ahead of entitlement reform (10%), and on par with issues such as immigration (26%) and tax policy (22%). The less affluent (29% vs. 14% $50,000+), Democrats (23% vs. 12%), and those with no college degree (23% vs. 16% college degree) once again stand out as being especially likely to be affected personally by housing affordability. The economy (56%), terrorism (36%), and education (30%) take the lead here, with at least three in ten saying that these issues directly affect them the most.

    Nearly three quarters (71%) agree that housing affordability should be a core component of the Democratic and Republican party platforms, while similar proportions (74%) would be more likely to support a candidate who made housing affordability a focus of their campaign and a priority in government. However, nearly half of all respondents do not recall Republicans and Democrats discussing any issues relating to housing affordability, or housing policies throughout the 22 debates that were held over the course of the 2016 Primary (47%, 0 times debated).

    When it comes to current efforts being made to address housing issues, nearly two thirds of respondents disagree that elected representatives in Congress are doing enough to improve housing affordability (64%), while another 60% feel this way about the efforts made to improve housing affordability by local elected officials in their community.

  • Women, older respondents (especially those ages 55+), the less affluent, the less educated and those with no children living at home are especially likely to disagree with these statements, believing that Congress and their local officials are not doing enough.
  • Additional information including findings and methodology is available for download on the right side of the page.

    For more information on this news release please contact:

    Chris Jackson
    Vice President
    Ipsos Public Affairs

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    Housing Affordability a Key Issue for Six in Ten Americans

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    Chris Jackson
    Vice President, US
    Ipsos Public Affairs
    Marie-Pierre Lemay
    Account Manager
    Ipsos Public Affairs