Affordable Housing Has Wide Support

Survey Shows How Affordable Housing Should Matter to Elected Officials

Affordable housing is a high priority and has broad support according to the MacArthur Foundation‘s 2016 How Housing Matters Survey.

  • Eighty-one percent of respondents believed that housing affordability is a problem, and
  • 68% believed that securing stable, affordable housing is more challenging today than it was for previous generations.

The results also indicate strong support for solutions that address the nation’s housing problems.

  • Sixty-three percent of respondents felt that a “great deal” or “fair amount” of things can be done to solve the problem of housing affordability and
  • 76% believed it should be addressed by their elected leaders in Washington.

This was true for respondents across political affiliations, with 88% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 62% of Republicans agreeing.

Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that the issue of housing affordability hasn’t received sufficient attention from presidential candidates.

These results bolster our efforts to travel to Washington DC on July 13, 2016 for the Congressional Reception and tell our elected officials “No More Cuts to Housing.”

Affordable Housing Solutions

  • The survey also asked respondents about a range of local, state, and federal housing policy solutions. Every policy solution, including those targeted to help low income renters, was supported by at least 70% of respondents.
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents favored expanding rental assistance for the 14 million Americans who qualify for housing assistance but don’t receive it, and at least 76% favored expanding federal housing programs to ensure that low income families with children receive assistance.
  • The proposal that received the greatest support (81%) was to “revise the federal income tax code so that more families with incomes from $40,000 to $70,000 receive tax benefits intended to help them purchase homes.”
  • This indicates potential support for the United for Homes campaign proposals to reform the mortgage interest tax benefit for homeowners from a tax deduction to a tax credit.
  • Lower income homeowners are less likely to benefit from a deduction because they don’t earn enough to itemize on their taxes, but they would benefit from a mortgage tax credit. United for Homes also calls for lowering the portion of a mortgage against which tax relief is applied from the first $1.1 million of a mortgage, which benefits wealthiest homeowners, to $500,000, and investing the savings into affordable housing.

“Having a decent, stable, affordable home is about more than shelter: It is at the core of strong, vibrant, and healthy families and communities. This survey demonstrates that the public wants action to address the nation’s real and pervasive housing affordability challenges.”

Said Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation’s President.

The 2016 How Housing Matters Survey is the fourth annual national survey commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation.

The Melville Charitable Trust and the Kresge Foundation also supported the survey, which was conducted by Hart Research Associates.

2016 How Housing Matters Survey

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