Most Americans believe it is important to have a decent affordable place to live, and to provide affordable housing in their communities, including housing for low income families, a recent Zogby International poll commissioned by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, as part of their Housing America Campaign, finds.

The recent online survey of 2,100 adults reveals that on a list of individual/family priorities, a vast majority (86%) say that having a decent affordable place to live is either number one or a high priority on their list, while one in eight (13%) say it is a low priority or not on their list.  A quarter of all respondents (24%) say having a decent affordable place is number one on their list of priorities.  

Additionally, more than two thirds of respondents (69%) say the issue of providing affordable housing in their community, both ownership and rental, including housing for low-income families, is important with a third overall (33%) say providing such affordable housing is very important.

While most Americans believe affordable housing should be available to everyone, when it comes to the historical goal of a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family, two thirds (67%) say the nation is on the wrong track, while 16% say we are on the right track and 17% are not sure.   

"It is apparent the American people recognize the importance of having an affordable, decent place to live for everyone," said John Zogby, Chairman and Chief Insights Officer for Zogby International.  "However, they also believe our Nation's leaders are not tackling the issue effectively.  It is interesting to note, given the fact that 69% say the issue of providing affordable housing is important, that the issue was not an overriding concern when deciding on a candidate to support in the upcoming election."

On the question of whether this issue was important when choosing a candidate to vote for this election cycle, about half (49%) of the respondents say it is important and half (48%) say it is unimportant.  But a plurality (40%) say they would be more likely to vote for a House or Senate candidate who articulated his or her detailed plan for providing affordable housing.

They were split over whether they agree or disagree that the federal government has a role in providing decent and affordable housing for low and very low income families, 50% say they disagree and 47% say they agree.

"At NAHRO, we believe the Federal Government plays an essential role in providing affordable housing for every American," said Saul Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer  of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.  "As our electorate is split on many policy issues, we will work hard to ensure they realize how vital affordable housing is to the American economy.  The responsible and publicly accounted for use of housing and community development funding at levels commensurate with current needs can create jobs, stimulate local economies, and assist a wider, more economically-diverse segment of the population with critical housing needs."

Zogby International was commissioned by the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials to conduct an online survey of 2,100 adults from 10/15/10 to 10/18/10. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education and income to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher (MOE) in sub-groups.  The MOE calculation is for sampling error only.