• Tamarah Webb

Survey: Stable, Affordable Homes More Unattainable

Fewer Americans believe the housing crisis that began in 2008 is over, with the vast majority — 81 percent — saying housing affordability is a problem the country faces today, according to the MacArthur Foundation’s 2016 How Housing Matters survey.

Sixty percent say affordability is a “serious” problem, the survey found, while only 29 percent believe “the housing crisis is pretty much over,” down from 35 percent last year.

Read more: Homes Getting Less Affordable for Many

Survey respondents view a stable, affordable home as fundamental to economic security, but it’s becoming more unattainable, with 68 percent saying it’s harder to find now than it was for previous generations.

“Too many Americans today believe the dream of a decent, stable home and the prospects for social mobility are receding,” says Julia Stasch, president of the MacArthur Foundation. “Having a decent, stable, affordable home is about more than shelter: It is at the core of strong, vibrant, and healthy families and communities.”

But many have hope that the issue of housing affordability can be solved, and the majority wants their elected officials to address it with more urgency. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents say actions can be taken to address the growing affordability gap, and 76 percent say it’s “very or fairly important” for leaders in Washington, D.C., to support and enact such policies. But 63 percent believe housing affordability has not received enough attention from presidential candidates, according to the survey.

More than half of Americans are making some sacrifice to afford their mortgage or rent, such as working additional jobs, stopping investments in retirement funds, accumulating credit card debt, or cutting back on healthcare, the survey finds.