New Yorkers aren't the only ones worried about housing costs

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | September 16, 2016 - 9:59AM

We New Yorkers tend to think we have it the worst when it comes to housing costs. But a new survey from NHP Foundation, a real estate organization dedicated to conserving and creating affordable housing, shows that the high price of real estate is a concern across the country.

The group polled 1,000 people across the country, and found that 75 percent of Americans are concerned about losing housing, 36 percent fear job loss will lead to housing, and over 65 percent of Americans are "cost-burdened," meaning they spend more than 30 percentof their income on housing (a HUD standard).

The demographic in the survey was comprehensive, said NHP Foundation's Thom Vaccaro, ranging from ages 18 to 98, with incomes from $19,000 to $250,000, and all levels of education. "Affordable housing is a huge topic, and this felt like the right time to take the temperature on housing," he said. 

One of the biggest surprises, according to Vaccaro, was how much people across the country seem to welcome affordable housing. According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents were likely to welcome it. "I think New York falls right into that spectrum," says Vaccaro. "What happens in large urban areas by and large is that divisions disappear, and people are blended."

The New York-specific numbers were a bit surprising—though only 25 respondents hailed from NYC, 100 percent of those queries live in affordable housing (the standard definition being that the housing budget accounts for not more than 30 percent of their income, though our story on how those income caps are arrived at shows how challenging setting these numbers can be), 86 percent have been cost-burdened (or their friends or family have) and 50 percent fear losing housing due to a job loss.

Surprised by that first number? Us too. Maybe New Yorkers aren't stretched as thinly as we like to believe ...


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