How Housing Matters Survey Finds Sacrifices to Cover Rent

How Housing Matters Survey Finds Sacrifices to Cover Rent
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Nearly half of all Americans and a majority of some groups, such as renters and parents, have experienced housing instability at some point in their lives, according to the How Housing Matters 2014 survey. When faced with unaffordable rent or mortgage, people tend to cut back spending in other areas, which can lead to a variety of negative outcomes for families and children. According to the survey, even those who have not experienced housing instability believe that it is challenging to find affordable housing and view high housing costs as a serious public policy issue.

Major findings:

  • More than half of all adults have made at least one tradeoff in the past three years in order to cover their rent or mortgage, with the most common being taking second jobs, reducing retirement savings and accumulating credit card debt.
  • A majority of the public believes the housing crisis is not over, and that a family is less likely to build equity and wealth through homeownership than they were 20-30 years ago.
  • A majority of Americans think that renting is just as successful a way to achieve the American dream as owning a home.
  • A majority of Americans believe the federal government should not favor homeownership in its policies, but support both renting and homeownership equally.