Sustainability Infrastructure

Most Americans agree government should act on housing affordability

“Left unaddressed, the housing affordability crisis will worsen, weighing on America’s families and our economy.”
FILE – A “sold” is posted outside a single family home in a residential neighborhood, in Glenside, Pa., Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped again this week, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, to their highest level in almost 14 years, certain to keep even more potential buyers out of a housing market that’s cooled considerably since the Federal Reserve began jacking up its benchmark borrowing rate. .(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Story at a glance


  • A new poll found that majorities of both Democrats and Republicans emphasize the government’s role in affordable and safe housing. 

  • But most particularly place the responsibility on the states.

  • Another 71 percent of those surveyed said Congress should act by passing bipartisan legislation to grow the supply of homes and improve housing affordability. 

Most Americans in a new poll agree that all levels of government should work to ensure affordable housing, as rising costs and dwindling supply have led to an ongoing housing affordability crisis. 

The poll from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in partnership with Morning Consult found that majorities of both Democrats and Republicans agree the government should play a role in affordable and safe housing, but most particularly place the responsibility on the states.  

Another 71 percent of those surveyed said Congress should act by passing bipartisan legislation to grow the supply of homes and improve housing affordability. 

Housing affordability issues have affected Americans across the political spectrum, in both urban and rural communities. More than half of respondents said they have experienced an increase in either their rent or utilities in the past year.  

“Left unaddressed, the housing affordability crisis will worsen, weighing on America’s families and our economy,” BPC wrote in a legislative proposal unveiled on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, close to 1 in 6 renters are not caught up in their rent payments and are at risk of missing their next payment. That percentage was slightly higher among Black and Hispanic renters.  

Young renters also experience challenges in affordable housing and are more likely than older Americans to be behind in their rent. 

BPC’s legislative proposal, released in conjunction with the polling data and dubbed the American Housing Act, focuses on three pieces of the problem — increasing the production of affordable homes, preserving existing affordable stock and helping families secure affordable units. 

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BPC, among other proposals, recommends that Congress create tax credits that would support home revitalization in some of the nation’s most distressed areas. These tax credits aim to mobilize private investment to build and rehabilitate 500,000 homes for lower- and moderate-income homeowners over the next decade.  

Another recommendation would focus on creating incentives for landlords to accept housing vouchers. This could be achieved by offering a signing bonus to a landlord with a unit in a low-poverty area, providing security deposit assistance and offering a financial bonus to public housing authorities that retain a dedicated landlord liaison on staff, the proposal notes. 

“Importantly, the key provisions in this plan all have a strong history of broad ideological and bipartisan support and— in most cases—are reflected in related bipartisan legislation,” the proposal authors wrote. 

The poll was conducted by Morning Consult on Sept. 9-10, among a national sample of 2,210 adults.