American voters overwhelmingly say that it is not the government’s job to try to bring those of different income levels to live together, and they reject the rules from the Department of Housing & Urban Development designed to “affirmatively further fair housing,” according to one survey.
A Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters found that 83% of those surveyed opposed such a program. (The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. To see survey question wording, click here.) Rasmussen is a nonpartisan polling service that collects data and research for the benefit of its subscribers.
Rasmussen did not conduct the survey themselves, and instead outsources field work to another firm, called Pulse Opinion Research. The research is performed via automated calling and the questions themselves did not mention HUD specifically, its role in housing affordability or Federal revisions to housing policy.
HUD announced in July a final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing program that requires local and state housing authorities to make sure their communities offer affordable housing opportunities in neighborhoods that accept HUD funding.
The new rule would require jurisdictions to file a full assessment every five years that not only addresses the affordable housing landscape, but patterns in poverty and minority concentrations, as well as "community access" to transportation, quality of schooling and prevelance of employment.
In addition to the assessments, the new requirements include an action plan obligating the jurisdiction to "identify the primary determinants influencing fair housing conditions, prioritize addressing these conditions, and set one or more goals for mitigating or addressing their determinants." For its part, HUD would be sharing demographic data that local officials need to pull this together, while offering guidance and technical assistance.
Critics say that the new federal housing rule allows Washington to play a heavy-handed role in trying to remake upscale neighborhood and leverage grant money to bring more public housing into upscale, suburban neighborhoods.
This recent survey compares to an earlier survey that found that 74% of those asked were opposed to such a program.
Notably, in the earlier survey, when asked what the cause of any perceived lack of diversity in their neighborhoods was, more than half (56%) said they felt race isn’t a factor.