General public still pessimistic about housing.

Position:NEWS ROOM
 
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A new survey of housing attitudes released on June 9 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation found that three in five Americans believe we are "still in the middle" of the housing crisis (41 percent) or "the worst is yet to come" (20 percent).

This was the third annual national survey conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the MacArthur Foundation. The 2015 How Housing Matters survey interviewed 1,401 adults between April 27 and May 5 using landlines and cellphones.

While the 61 percent of Americans in 2015 saying we are still in the midst of crisis or that the worst is yet to come is a troubling sign, the survey results in 2014 found 70 percent expressing that sentiment. In 2013's findings, the sentiment was shared by 77 percent of those polled.

Housing affordability problems remain widespread, as the survey in 2015 found that 54 percent reported having to make at least one sacrifice or tradeoff in the past three years in order to cover their rent or mortgage.

Those saying it was challenging to find housing to purchase in their own communities reached 60 percent in 2015 (up from 59 percent in 2014).

The associated feelings of pessimism about housing affordability also permeated sentiment about economic mobility. In the new survey, four in five (79 percent) said it's more likely for "middle-class people [to fall] into a lower economic class" than for "people in lower economic classes [to rise] into the middle class."

People remain scarred by lingering awareness of the foreclosure crisis. The survey found that 76 percent of those polled believe it is either much more likely (45 percent) or somewhat more likely (31 percent) for banks today to foreclose on homeowners than it was a generation ago. That was down slightly from the 81 percent that believed that in the 2013 survey.

There is an interesting split in how Americans perceive the role of government in...

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