As a symptom of the rising cost of housing and fears of declining job opportunities, a majority of Americans worry about becoming homeless, according to a new survey.
With the August Jobs Report cited as the "worst month for job gains" of the year, The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of service-enriched affordable housing, polled 1,000 Americans to gauge their feelings about housing and job security. The survey’s highlights include the following:
75% of Americans are concerned about losing housing. When asked how concerned Americans are that they or a friend or relative could lose housing, 30% consider themselves “very concerned”, 27% are “concerned” and another 19% are “somewhat concerned.” Eighty-three percent of respondents are concerned about housing costs in America overall.
Over 65% of Americans are “cost-burdened.” Affordable housing is housing for which occupants pay no more than 30% of their income. Those who spend more than that on rent or a mortgage are considered cost-burdened; over 65% of Americans put themselves in that category.
80% welcome more affordable housing in their communities. With this many Americans feeling “cost-burdened,” it’s no surprise that 80% welcome affordable housing. Nearly 40% of those polled welcome affordable housing simply because “everyone deserves” it, while 25% cite the opportunity for “people to live in the community where they work.” Nearly 20% agree that affordable housing lets a wider range of individuals share a community, and 16% acknowledge affordable housing’s ability to revitalize neighborhoods.
Nearly 40% of respondents fear job loss will lead to loss of housing. In addition, those polled also felt that the following could lead to a loss of housing: Perceived lack of affordable options (28%), increased rents (24%) and retirement (21%).
“Job loss is the top concern to those who fear losing their housing; the two go hand-in-hand,” says NHP Foundation President and CEO Dick Burns.