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Americans want presidential candidates to talk about affordable housing

About 76% of voters more likely to support candidate who focuses on the topic

About 76% of Americans who are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election say they are more likely to support candidates who make housing affordability a focus of their campaigns and a priority in government, according to a national public opinion poll by Make Room, a nationwide campaign giving voice to American renters.

Almost all Democrats, about 92%, say they would support a presidential candidate who make affordable housing a priority, and about 78% Independents said the same. While Republican numbers were much lower, still a majority at 55% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who made affordable housing a priority.

Likely voters not only want to see affordable housing on the candidates’ platforms, but also consider the issue to be an important factor in their voting decisions. About 60% of likely voters say that housing is a key issue to them in this voting season.

“The dual challenges of rising rents and stagnant wages do not discriminate: millions of Americans, regardless of political affiliations, are struggling to afford their homes and are living in fear of an unexpected expense or reduction in hours at work leading to eviction or homelessness,” Make Room Managing Director Angela Boyd said.

“Candidates for public office and current elected officials must prioritize housing affordability and be clear with voters about their plans for addressing this issue as a significant barrier to families’ financial security and our country’s economic prosperity,” Boyd said.

Many renters, about 25%, spend more than half of their pre-tax income on rent and utilities, according to Make Room analysis of 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data. Almost half of the survey’s respondents who identify as likely voters confirmed that an inability to meet rent or mortgage payments has been a problem for them or others close to them in the past 12 months.

In fact, home prices continue to increase nationwide, even hitting new highs in several large housing markets in April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices released in June.  

Despite it being such a strong issue, only 37% of likely voters think Congress is doing enough to improve the affordability of housing.

Although presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton announced her plan that included major housing reforms, not much else has been said about housing. Except, of course, when Clinton used the housing crisis to smear presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

Image courtesy of chrisdorney / 

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