Community support key to affordable housing success

Residents are more likely to support affordable housing in their communities if they are sure it would not hurt property values, would not contribute to school overcrowding or would not make traffic worse, according to the third annual National Housing Opportunity Pulse survey released May 31 by the National Association of Realtors®.

The survey, according to an article on the NAR website, also found that residents prefer affordable housing that is single-family detached housing over townhomes, low-rise or high-rise apartments; that seven out of ten residents support more open space in their community; and that three out of five feel there is a need for more residential growth in their communities.

“For the first time, we see that people support affordable housing if it is done right. This survey sheds needed light on the conditions that encourage people to support affordable housing. We hope the survey serves as a guide to local officials, developers, planners, and others involved in their communities to clearly spell out what people want, and give our leaders the political will to do what the people want,” said NAR First Vice President Pat Vredevoogd.

The latest National Housing Opportunity Pulse survey of 1 600 urban and suburban residents in the top 25 media markets was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in May 2005. As in past surveys, it found that Americans rank affordable housing as one of the two most difficult issues they face and that they worry that the cost of housing is widening the gap between those who can afford to buy a home and those who cannot.

The survey is conducted by NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. As many as 200 housing opportunity programs are now sponsored by state and local Realtor® organizations to address local housing needs. More such programs are in the works all across the country.
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