The findings of a new national poll conducted on behalf of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign show that the vast majority (85%) of the public believe ensuring that everyone has a safe, decent, affordable place to live should be a “top national priority.” This view is strong across the political spectrum—from 95% of Democrats agreeing it should be a top national priority to 87% of independents to 73% of Republicans. Sixty percent (60%) of Americans say that housing affordability is a serious problem in the area where they live (up 21 points from 2016), including majorities of people in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of the public say that it is a “big problem” when people have to spend more than half of their monthly income to pay for housing, and 61% say that they themselves have had to make at least one sacrifice in the past three years because they were struggling to pay for housing.
The public is eager for elected leaders to take action. Ninety percent (90%) believe that, as one of the most prosperous nations in the world, we should do more to prevent homelessness and 68% think the government is doing too little to ensure that there are enough affordable places for people to live. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Americans say government has an important role to play in making sure there are enough affordable places to live (including 91% of Democrats, 76% of independents, and 62% of Republicans). Eighty-two percent (82%) think it is very or fairly important for their elected leaders to address housing affordability.