According to a statewide poll of 1,780 adults conducted by the Marist Poll earlier this month, 73% of New York residents report that the affordability of housing is a major problem in
their communities. This concern is widespread among all geographic areas of the state, with 67% of rural residents, 69% of suburban residents and 81% of urban residents feeling housing affordability is a major issue.
“The poll results show New Yorkers, no matter where they live, view housing affordability as a major problem, and yet state policymakers have yet to address this issue,” commented Michael J. Borges, Rural Housing Coalition Executive Director.
The Adirondack Explorer launched a series that shows how Adirondack housing issues are connected to other community challenges. As part of the reporting, the articles also highlight efforts underway to offer potential solutions.
The lack of action did not go unnoticed in the poll. 71% of New Yorkers believe that state government is not providing enough resources to address the lack of affordable housing. Again, majorities in all areas of the state feel the same way, with 71% of rural residents, 77% of urban residents and 66% of suburban residents believing the state is not doing enough to address the housing crisis. The survey also showed that New Yorkers are divided on how to the state government should address the housing affordability issue. 39% of adults report the government should prioritize rental assistance, 33% believe more owner-occupied housing development should be the priority, and 24% say new rental housing development should be the state government’s top priority.
“The Governor should convene a Housing Task Force that brings together a representative group of stakeholders to the table that can recommend solutions to the housing crisis that meets the needs of all New Yorkers, no matter where they live,” stated Mr. Borges.
In the meantime, the 2024 Executive Budget should increase funding for housing programs, particularly those that meet the needs of underserved areas, like rural communities, where small amounts of funding can go a long way.
“We are hopeful that unlike last year, the upcoming Executive Budget will not cut funding for housing programs in the midst of a housing crisis that a clear majority of New Yorkers believe the state needs to do more to address and not less,” concluded Mr. Borges.
Rural Housing Coalition of New York Statewide Survey
Summary of Key Findings
Nearly Three in Four New Yorkers Believe Affordability of Housing is a Major Problem
More than seven in ten (73%) New York State adults report that the affordability of housing is a major problem in their local communities. New York residents who rent their primary residence (83%) are more likely than those who own their primary residence (66%) to believe housing affordability is a major problem. Regardless of geographic location, over six in ten New Yorkers report the affordability of housing is a major issue. 81% of urban, 69% of suburban, and 67% of rural residents all see the issue as a major problem. New York City residents (78%) are the most likely to feel this way, followed closely by 75% of residents in the suburban counties surrounding the city, as well as 66% of Upstate residents.
Majority of New Yorkers Think NYS Gov Not Doing Enough to Address Lack of Affordable Housing
71% of New York State adults think the state’s government is not providing enough resources to address the lack of affordable housing. 77% of self-reported urban residents, 71% of rural residents, and 66% of suburban residents are in agreement. Residents who rent their primary residence (80%) are more likely than those who own their home (64%) to believe the state government is not providing enough resources to address the issue. Bipartisan consensus also exists on this issue with 72% of Democrats, 69% of non-enrolled voters, and 63% of Republicans believing the NYS government needs to do more to address the issue of affordable housing within the state.
Residents Divide Over How NYS Government Should Address Housing Affordability Issue
A plurality of New York State residents (39%) believes the government should prioritize increasing funding for rental assistance vouchers for those in need of assistance in paying their rent. 33% of
residents believe increasing funding for the development of new homes for purchase should be prioritized, and 24% believe increasing funding for new rental housing should be at the top of the list
when addressing the housing affordability problem. Among residents who report they live in rural areas, 42% want the government to prioritize increasing rental assistance vouchers, 31% prioritize an increase in funding for the development of new homes for purchase, and 22% think increasing funding for the development of new rental housing should be the top priority.
A plurality (47%) of New Yorkers who rent their primary residence want to see rental assistance vouchers as the top priority, while 26% of renters want to see increased funding for rental housing, and 25% wanting to see increased funding for the develop of new homes for purchase as the top priority. Homeowners within the state are slightly more divided than their renting counterparts. A plurality (38%) prioritize increasing funding for the development of new homes for purchase, 33% report increasing rental assistance vouchers as the top solution, and 22% want state government to increase funding for new rental housing to address the issue of affordable housing.
How the Survey was Conducted
Nature of the Sample: Marist Poll of 1,780 New York State Adults
This survey of 1,780 New York State adults was conducted November 13th through November 15th, 2023 by the Marist Poll sponsored by the Rural Housing Coalition of New York. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in New York State were contacted through a multi-mode design: By phone using live interviewers, by text, or online. Survey questions were available in English and Spanish. Phone and online samples were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its adult population. The samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2020 American Community Survey 5-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within ±3.0 percentage points. There are 1,556 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±3.2 percentage points. Tables include results for subgroups to only display crosstabs with an acceptable sampling error. It should be noted that although you may not see results listed for a certain group, it does not mean interviews were not completed with those individuals. It simply means the sample size is too small to report. The error margin was adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.
Photo at top: Marist Poll logo. Marist Poll website photo.