Texans say they are spending too much on housing. New statewide poll results released found nearly half of Texas adults say it is difficult for them to find affordable housing in the area where they live, and a similar share believe they spend too much of their income on housing. The independent poll was conducted by the Texas Lyceum, the 40-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership organization. The poll also revealed that a majority of Texans want more involvement by both state and city governments to increase the stock of affordable housing, with greater support for city involvement.
“Taken as a whole, the 2020 Texas Lyceum poll finds Texans are broadly satisfied with their current housing situation, and even many features that we think of as being important factors in the equity of a neighborhood, like proximity to good schools,” said
Joshua Blank, Lyceum Poll research director. “At the same time, the poll shows that almost half of Texans say that their housing is too expensive, and they think government needs to do more to alleviate the problem.”
A deeper dive into the annual survey’s cross tabulations indicates perceptions of affordability are likely, in part, driven by age, geography and race. Results show that 55 percent of Texans under 30 say they spend too much of their income on housing, but only a third of Texans over the age of 45 say housing is too expensive. Likewise, 52% of Texans who live in an urban area say they spend too much of their income on housing and that share drops to 41 percent among Texans living in the suburbs, dropping further to 37 percent among Texans living in rural parts of the state.
Numbers shift when racial and ethnic minorities are factored in.
While a majority of Texas adults believe racial and ethnic minorities have as good a chance as white people of getting any housing they can afford, only 50 percent of African American and 57 percent of Hispanic Texans agree, compared to 73 percent of Anglos.
Renters say they are paying too much for housing across all demographics.
The Lyceum poll confirms that, if you rent your home in Texas, you believe you are cutting a hefty check to your landlord. According to the 2020 Lyceum poll, among renters, the share who say it is difficult to find affordable housing jumps to 64 percent.
Perceptions of affordability show remarkable persistence across different demographic groups, with 48 percent of Anglo, 49 percent of Hispanic and 47% of African American adults agreeing it is difficult for people like them to find affordable housing in the area where they live.
Overwhelmingly, most Texans think both city and state governments should do more to expand the stock of affordable housing.
When asked whether or not city and state governments should be doing more to increase the amount of affordable housing, or whether that is not the job of city/state government, a majority of Texas adults said that the state, 68 percent, or cities, 74 percent, should be doing more, with only 27 percent and 22 percent, respectively, saying that this is not the responsibility of either state nor city government.
Gentrification is not a problem overall, but major problem among those who are impacted.
Texas’ fastest-growing cities continue to experience gentrification, which means urban neighborhoods attract wealthier homebuyers who often displace lower income families and businesses. The Lyceum poll shows that only a quarter of Texas adults say gentrification is a problem in their community. However, among the quarter who say it is a problem, 60 percent said that it is a “major problem” compared to only 36 percent who say it is a “minor problem.”
Urban dwellers see homelessness as a larger problem than suburban and rural residents; express mixed views on confidence in government’s ability to make progress on the problem.
As homelessness is on the rise in urban areas, the Lyceum poll shows urban Texans believe the problem is greater over those living in suburban and rural areas. Among urban dwellers, 63 percent agree homelessness is a problem, compared to 40 percent of suburban and 33 percent of rural residents.
When asked to grade their confidence in both the state and city governments’ abilities to make progress on the homelessness issue, Texans gave mixed reviews. Overall, 45 percent of Texans say that they have confidence in city government to make progress on the issue of homelessness, while 48 percent have confidence in state government to reduce homelessness. When asked, more Texans lack confidence in state government, 59 percent, than lack confidence in city government, 51 percent.
From Jan. 10-19, 2020, The Texas Lyceum conducted a 1,000-person telephone survey of adult citizens from the state of Texas. The survey utilized a stratified probability sample design, with respondents being randomly selected at the level of the household and questioned by live interviewers. The survey also employed a randomized cellphone supplement, with 60% of completed interviews being conducted among cellphone only or cellphone dominant households. A Spanish-language instrument was developed, and bilingual interviewers offered respondents a chance to participate in English or Spanish. On average, respondents completed the interview in 15 minutes. To ensure an appropriate sub-sample of unregistered citizens, a supplement of 200 interviews among Texas adults confirmed as unregistered was completed online. This yields a total statewide sample of 1,200 adults, 920 of whom are registered voters according to self-reports. The final data set is weighted by race/ethnicity, age and gender to achieve representativeness as defined by the Texas Department State Health Services 2019 population projections for non-election specific items. For items covering voting preferences in the 2020 Texas primary and general elections, the responses of registered voters are weighted by race/ethnicity, age and gender to achieve representativeness of the state’s registered voter population. The overall margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.83 percentage points for the full sample and +/-3.23 percentage points for registered voters, with a larger margin of error for sub- samples.
The poll also shows:
- Renters are nearly twice as likely as homeowners to say that they spend too much of their income on housing
- Texas adults say they want to see more involvement by both state and city governments to increase the stock of affordable housing, with greater support for city
- With homelessness on the rise in Texas cities, the Lyceum poll shows a greater perceived impact on urban Texans compared to those living in suburban and rural areas, but nearly a third of rural Texans see homelessness as a problem in their
- Only a quarter of Texas adults say gentrification is a problem in their community, but among those who say it’s a problem, 60 percent say it is a “major ”