Candidates Need to Focus on Housing Affordability: Survey

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans think that something can be done to address problems related to housing affordability — and they want the presidential candidates to talk about it.

Sixty-three percent of adults believe that candidates for president have not spent enough time discussing housing affordability, according to the fourth annual How Housing Matters survey released Thursday from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The survey also found that 81% of adults believe that housing affordability is a problem in America today.

And results from the survey suggest that Americans’ optimism toward the economy’s recovery from the financial crisis is waning. This year, 29% of adults said that they felt “the housing crisis is pretty much over,” down six percentage points from a year ago. In contrast, 44% believe the country is still in the midst of the housing crisis, and 19% said the worst is yet to come.

Meanwhile, having stable, affordable housing tied for second with saving for retirement as being very important for maintaining “a secure, middle-class lifestyle,” with 85% of respondents. Having a good job came in first with 90% of survey takers.

Unsurprisingly then, most respondents think more can be done politically, with 76% saying it is either very or fairly important for leaders in Washington to address the issue of housing affordability.

Democrats and independents were more likely than Republicans to say that the 2016 presidential candidates have not focused enough attention on the subject, with 75% of Democrats and 66% of independents saying this versus just 49% of Republicans, according the MacArthur Foundation’s report.

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