Three in five Americans believe the national housing crisis is not over.
The concerning sentiment, part of a new MacArthur Foundation/Hart Research survey released Tuesday, illustrates the long-term impact of the Great Recession on America's middle class. Sixty-one percent of the 1,401 adults interviewed said the US is "still in the middle" (41 percent) or that "the worst is yet to come" (20 percent) in the housing crisis. Thirty-five percent believe the crisis is "pretty much over"; 4 percent responded they were unsure.
The infographic below shows perceived difficulties for adults 18 to 29 regarding a stable, middle-class lifestyle, include saving for retirement, home ownership, job stability, affordable housing options, having health insurance, and being able to graduate from high school:
The survey also found the following:
- Inequality in housing options: 71 percent agree that "African Americans and Hispanics are being left behind in terms of homeownership after the housing crisis." Ten percent consider it a "slight" problem, while 21 percent say it is "not a problem at all" and 8 percent responded with "unsure."
- The middle class is falling, not rising: 79 percent say people in the middle class are "falling out of it" more often than lower-class persons rising into it (14 percent). Neither/both (3 percent) and not sure (4 percent) collected the remaining responses.
- People are making unhealthy choices to make the rent: 12 percent of respondents said they have "cut back on healthy, nutritious food" in the past three years in order to help make their rent or mortgage payments.
Watch our extended interview with President Obama on the future of what he describes as "middle-class economics."