State Policy Network
Voters are open to updating housing policy to improve affordability

By Erin Norman, Lee Family Fellow and SPN Senior Messaging Strategist

Housing affordability is a problem in a majority of communities across the country, according to 69% of American voters surveyed in SPN’s October 2022 State Voices poll.

This problem is felt by voters across the political spectrum and among Americans living in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

There is support for updating zoning and housing policies. Despite favoring fewer regulations overall, voters want restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

Many Americans say they are unsure what the impact of various housing policies would be. For state think tanks, there is considerable opportunity to educate voters and policymakers on options for housing and zoning policies and the impact these reforms could have on communities.

Key Takeaways

1. Voters are open to changing housing policy in a way that reduces regulations and uses the private sector to ease workload.

2. Voters are generally less enthusiastic about allowing ADUs. Lawmakers may want to start with policies that relax supply restrictions, like minimum size requirements, that will create less pushback.

Proposed Solutions from the States

State solutions to make affordable housing available to more Americans (State Policy Network)

Hawaii: Residents support adding land, zoning reform to increase housing (Grassroot Institute)

Maine: Local deregulation is the path to relieving Maine’s housing crunch (Maine Policy Institute)

Minnesota: Twin Cities housing shortage worst in the nation (American Experiment)

Montana: The Montana Zoning Atlas (Frontier Institute)

Utah: Cedar City’s First Step Toward Affordable Housing (Libertas Institute)

About State Voices

State Voices is a monthly public opinion study dedicated to understanding and sharing Americans’ attitudes about government and policy solutions. Learn more and get additional polling resources here.

Policy Issues: Economy