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U.S. Opinions on Housing Affordability:
A BPC/NHC/Morning Consult Poll

The Brief

The J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, in partnership with the National Housing Conference and Morning Consult, fielded a nationally representative survey of adults to gauge public opinion on housing affordability and housing policy reforms. The results highlight significant concerns regarding housing costs, homelessness, and inflation—as well as significant bipartisan support for initiatives aimed at addressing the housing affordability crisis.

Key Takeaways

Most respondents see the lack of affordable homes as a significant problem and believe homes will become even less affordable.

  • 74% of respondents believe that the lack of affordable homes is a significant problem in the United States. This sentiment spans across demographics and political affiliation, with 83% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 68% of Republicans acknowledging the severity of the issue.
  • 65% of respondents reported that home prices in their community have become less affordable over the past year, and 52% expect this trend to continue.
  • Over the last 12 months, 44% of renters reported increases in their monthly rent, and 26% of homeowners saw increases in their mortgage payments.

Despite widespread confidence in being able to cover housing payments, many adults are just meeting their expenses, struggling to make ends meet, or falling behind on payments.

  • 90% of homeowners and 78% of renters are confident they can pay their next mortgage or rent on time.
  • However, 30% of adults reported just meeting their expenses, with 23% struggling to make ends meet.
    • The situation is particularly dire for lower-income households, where 32% of those earning under $50,000 annually report having trouble meeting expenses, compared to 15% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, and only 7% of those making over $100,000.
  • In the past year, nearly one-quarter of respondents (24%) have fallen behind on utility bills, and 17% have missed rent or mortgage payments.
  • Nearly half of renters (49%) and 33% of homeowners had difficulty paying their rent or mortgage payments over the past 12 months.

With high costs and fewer options, renters are now less likely to express interest in owning a home. 

  • Only 47% of renters expressed a strong interest in owning a home one day, down 10% from BPC/Morning Consult polling from September 2022.
  • High interest rates were cited as a major deterrent, with 60% of respondents indicating interest rates as a key factor preventing them from purchasing a home in the next 12 months.

Most respondents reported higher perceived rates of homelessness in their communities compared to last year.

  • 52% of respondents reported an increase in homelessness in their community over the past year, a 6% increase from a BPC/Morning Consult survey in May 2023.
    • 24% of respondents reported a significant increase and 28% reported a slight increase.
    • Urban respondents were more likely to notice an increase in homelessness in their community (62%) than suburban (51%) or rural (44%) respondents.
    • Regionally, respondents from the West (62%) were the most likely to report an increase in homelessness, while respondents from the Midwest (44%) were the least likely to report an increase.

Though many homeowner respondents experienced rising homeownership-related costs in the past year, most are still able to afford them.

  • 40% of homeowner respondents reported experiencing an increase in the cost of their homeowners’ insurance or difficulty securing coverage in the past year.
  • Yet only 29% of respondents said paying for their homeowners’ insurance was somewhat (22%) or very (7%) difficult.
  • 56% of homeowner respondents reported an increase in their property taxes over the past year.
  • 33% of respondents said paying their property taxes was somewhat (24%) or very (9%) difficult.

A majority of respondents across parties want to see presidential candidates advance solutions to the housing affordability crisis.

  • Respondents across political parties identified bringing down inflation and significantly reducing homelessness as two top housing-related issues for Joe Biden and Donald Trump to address in their campaign proposals, along with helping older adults have consistent housing as they age.

There is strong bipartisan support for federal action on housing and legislative reforms to support housing affordability and accessibility.

  • Most respondents think that the federal government is very responsible (36%) or somewhat responsible (30%) for ensuring that families have safe and decent housing they can afford.
    • This includes 77% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 60% of independents.
  • A large majority of respondents identified passing bipartisan legislation to increase the supply of affordable homes and help address high housing costs as a top priority (46%) or an important priority (32%) for Congress.
      • Broken down by party: 87% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans, and 70% of independents saw such legislation as either a top or important priority.
  • At least half of Democrats and Republicans support a broad range of proposed measures aimed at improving housing affordability and accessibility.
    • Expanded funding for homelessness services and eviction prevention programs topped the list in terms of bipartisan support.

Policies aimed at increasing the supply of affordable homes—such as expanding the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and providing incentives for converting vacant commercial properties into housing—also polled strongly across party ID.

As the table demonstrates, a majority of Republicans and Democrats supported measures from BPC’s American Housing Act as well as measures included in bipartisan bills introduced in the 118th Congress—such as S. 1267, the Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act; S.32, the Choice in Affordable Housing Act; S.1557, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act; S.657, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act; and S. 1688, the Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, among other bipartisan bills endorsed by BPC Action.


This poll was conducted between May 17-19, 2024, among a sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age, and race by educational attainment. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

For questions, or to speak to Executive Director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, Dennis Shea, please contact BPC’s Senior Director of Communications, Luci Manning.

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