Newly released data from a survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that nearly three out of four American households believe the nation is suffering a housing affordability crisis. The association found that the majority of Americans reported this problem at their local and state level, as well as nationwide.
“These poll results confirm what builders from across the nation have been warning about—that housing affordability is an increasingly serious problem in communities across America,” says NAHB chairman Randy Noel. “A mix of regulatory barriers, ill-considered public policy and challenging market conditions is driving up costs and making it increasingly difficult for builders to produce homes that are affordable to low- and moderate-income families.”

The survey reached 2,200 adults from November 27-30, assessing the public’s attitude on whether a lack of housing is a problem in their neighborhoods, cities and states, as well as nationwide. According to NAHB, the poll cut across partisan, regional, demographic and socio-economic lines. Key findings included:

  • Among all respondents, 73 percent believe that a lack of affordable housing is a problem in the U.S.;
  • 68 percent believe this is an issue in their state and 54 percent cite housing affordability as a concern in their neighborhoods;
  • 58 percent say that if they decided to purchase a home in the near future, they would have trouble finding one they can afford in their city or county; and
  • Breaking down by community types, 68 percent reported a dearth of affordable housing as a problem in urban communities, 64 percent said it was an issue in middle-class neighborhoods and 56 percent cited a problem in rural areas.

According to the survey findings, 55 percent of respondents believe it would be effective for their city or county to lower development and construction fees builders are assessed, so that more affordable units can be built, while 53 percent believe it would be effective to increase government subsidies to builders, in order to produce more affordable units.

Survey results were consistent with the latest NAHB findings from the association’s third quarter housing trends report which found that 79 percent of buyers can only afford fewer than half of the homes available in their local markets.
“Housing is vital to the economic health of our nation,” says Noel. “This poll should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers at all levels of government to ease regulatory burdens that needlessly drive up the cost of housing and to enact policies that will encourage the production of badly-needed affordable housing units.”
The national online survey was conducted by Morning Consult, with a margin of error of ± 2 percent.

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