If there’s anything the American public knows about politicians, it’s that they like to talk. We have some particularly chatty people running for president right now, but despite the many topics Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spend their time discussing, voters think they’re leaving out some important issues.
Housing affordability is one of them.
More than 3-in-5 adults (63%) believe the presidential candidates have not given enough attention to housing affordability, according to a new survey from the MacArthur Foundation, a liberal public-policy nonprofit. The vast majority (81%) of those surveyed said they believe housing affordability is a problem in the United States.
These figures come from interviews with 1,200 adults, conducted by phone (mobile and landline) between April 28 and May 10. The report did not state a margin of error. It was the fourth year the foundation conducted its How Housing Matters survey, and compared to last year’s survey, it seems Americans are less optimistic about the state of housing affordability. Only 29% of those surveyed this year said they believe “the housing crisis is pretty much over,” which is down 6 percentage points from the 2015 survey. A third (34%) of respondents said they know someone who has personally experienced eviction, foreclosure or some sort of housing loss in the last five years.
At the same time, Americans are optimistic that housing affordability is a solvable problem, should leaders give it the attention voters believe it deserves. It’s a pretty important issue for voters: While 90% of people said having a good, stable job is very important to having a secure, middle-class lifestyle, 85% of people said the same of access to affordable housing, as well as the ability to save for retirement.
It’s not surprising people want to hear the presidential candidates address housing costs, considering that more than half (53%) of survey respondents said they’ve made sacrifices in the last 3 years in order to afford their mortgage payments or rent. Those sacrifices include taking on extra jobs (24%), delaying saving for retirement (19%), going into credit card debt (17%), skimping on healthful food (13%) or cutting back on healthcare (11%). All of these things, particularly going into debt or cutting back on savings, can have serious implications on one’s financial future.
Figuring out a housing budget isn’t easy, but it’s a crucial component of your financial well-being, like minimizing your debt and taking care of your credit. Credit plays a role in your everyday life, like finding housing, so before you rent or buy, be sure to review your credit standing — you can get two free credit scores each month on Credit.com. You may also want to make checking your credit a routine, so there are no surprises down the road.
More on Mortgages & Homebuying:
- Why You Should Check Your Credit Before Buying a Home
- How to Find & Choose a Mortgage Lender
- How to Refinance Your Home Loan With Bad Credit