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Does Party Affiliation Affect Americans’ Views on Housing Policy?

residential segregation in housingAmericans responded questions related to housing policy in an early October Redfin survey of over 3,000 U.S. adults. Researchers asked about respondents' views on down payment assistance, government incentives to create low-income housing, view on government incentives for builders to create more housing (of any type), and opinion of policies that either reduce or enhance zoning restrictions on the density of housing that can be built near where they live.

The researchers also asked respondents who they are voting for, in order to compare the opinions of Biden voters with those of Trump voters.

“Housing is one of the few types of policies that does not fall neatly into liberal or conservative camps,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While many Americans across both major parties can agree that there’s a need for more housing—particularly affordable housing—both Democrats and Republicans are reluctant to see their own neighborhoods become more dense. This will be a challenge for those elected into local, state and federal offices next week, but hopefully politicians will work together to create bipartisan housing reforms like down payment assistance or incentives to build more affordable homes.”

According to the report, summarized by analyst Tim Ellis at Redfin, 61% of Biden voters think the government should provide down-payment assistance to working-class families buying their first home, compared with 43% of Trump voters. Over half of U.S. residents (56%) think the government should provide incentives for builders to build more housing, but less than half as many (27%) support zoning policies that would allow more dense housing in their own neighborhood.

A few more highlights from the survey:

  • People who are voting for Joe Biden were more likely to support government programs for housing, with 61% supporting down payment assistance, 73% supporting incentives for low income housing, and 66% supporting incentives for creating any type of housing. However, when it comes to zoning for density in their own neighborhood, just 32% of Biden voters said that they support such policies.
  • Trump voters were less likely to support any of the three pro-housing policies we asked about, with just 43% in favor of down-payment assistance and 49% supporting incentives for low-income housing or any kind of housing. Only 24% of Trump voters support policies that make more dense housing possible in their neighborhood.
  • Support for down-payment assistance was predictably high among renters, with 62% in support compared to just 48% among homeowners. However, renters were not much more likely than homeowners to support government incentives for low-income or other types of housing, with support from both groups ranging between 55% and 61%. Renters were also mostly opposed to density in their own neighborhood, with just 31% supporting the idea, compared to 26% of homeowners.

The entire survey, complete with graphics and methodology, can be viewed here.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others.
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