As the presidential race hits full swing, an endless line of talking points begin to echo from the podium: the Iraq war, Social Security, health care, and education. Recently, it seems, another issue affecting the American public has made it to center stage: affordable housing.
According to a recent Zogby poll of 1,205 people nationwide, almost 70 percent of Americans would be more inclined to vote for a candidate who had a clear plan for affordable housing. Commissioned by a coalition of public, private, and nonprofit advocacy groups, the poll also revealed that nine out of 10 Americans consider affordable housing a high-priority issue. This is a major increase from the November 2003 National Low Income Housing Coalition survey, in which only 10 percent of its respondents ranked affordable housing as a top concern.
“This issue seems to be creeping up the income scale and spreading throughout the constituency,” says Conrad Egan, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, one of the survey's commissioners. He points to static incomes and doubled housing costs as motivating factors.
Tom Bozzuto, CEO of The Bozzuto Group, agrees: “The American public will widely support a plan that addresses the increasing urgency of this problem.”
Malorie R. Medellin is a freelance writer in Hobart, Ind.