What Americans Say About Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability

The majority (80%+) of Americans agree with NAHB on key topics surrounding the housing affordability issue, according to extensive focus group testing with Americans across politically ideologies in key metropolitan areas, conducted on behalf of NAHB by Engagious. Addressing issues such as pro-growth zoning, infill development, reasonable impact fees, local planning, subsidies and tax incentives, and more skilled labor are critical to tackling the housing affordability crisis, in which more than half of U.S. households are unable to afford the median price of a home.

Focus group participants agreed strongly with statements such as:

“Every American has the right to a home.”

“Housing is a basic human need, and it needs to be affordable.”

Washington bureaucrats should not be in the business of controlling how and where buildings get built in a neighborhood. Local officials do a better job than central planning committees far away.”

“Subsidies and tax incentives, like home mortgage deductions and low-income tax credits, can ease the financial burden on renters and buyers, and encourage first-time home buyers.”

Building permits, impact fees, and other charges a home builder must pay to a local government are reflected in the price of homes, and can make them less affordable.”

“Zoning laws can limit the areas available for low- to middle-income working families and can create artificial scarcity, resulting in higher land and home prices. It’s hard to build when everyone declares, ‘Not in my back yard.’”

“The skilled trades — such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers — provide a good salary and a solid career path. Debunking the stereotypes of these jobs and raising awareness of construction training programs might steer more workers into the field. We need more Americans who are trained to work with their hands to help build housing that’s affordable.”

2019 Public Consensus Survey Data