Fannie Mae: One-Third of Americans Can’t Find Affordable Housing Near Work

In a poll conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland for the government-sponsored enterprise, most Americans reported that they struggled to find affordable housing options in areas they desired.
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According to a just-released Fannie Mae report, most Americans are struggling to find affordable housing near their workplace, in areas with better schools, childcare and job opportunities.

In a monthly online survey of Americans by research firm Penn Schoen Berland, on behalf of Fannie Mae, one in three people reported having trouble finding affordable housing options near their office or workplace. Respondents said they’d prefer to live closer to their job but the housing options are too expensive.

A majority of Americans—58 percent—reported that areas with better job opportunities are too expensive to live in, while 46 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer to live in a community with access to better schools and childcare but cannot afford to do so.

Finding Solutions

“When nearly 6 in 10 Americans have to sacrifice economic opportunities and nearly half have to sacrifice quality education and childcare because of housing affordability, it’s clear we need to bring new ideas to the marketplace,” said Maria Evans, vice president of sustainable communities at Fannie Mae, in prepared remarks.

Fannie Mae just announced a call for ideas to address the affordable housing crisis in what marks the third and final phase of the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge, a two-year, $10 million commitment by the government agency to find solutions to the shortage of affordable housing across the U.S. Of the ideas submitted, Fannie Mae will select contract awards up to $1.5 million.

The announcement comes the same week as a National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care report outlining a looming senior housing crisis. The report found that by 2029, 54 percent of middle-income seniors won’t be able to pay for assisted living and out-of-pocket medical costs.

Earlier this week, a public-private partnership in New York City announced a $15 million affordable housing preservation deal to acquire and preserve three multifamily properties in Queens, N.Y.