Fannie Mae: Most Americans can’t afford to live in thriving neighborhoods


Housing affordability has been a tremendous concern for Americans across the country, especially as affordability conditions now sit at a 10-year low.

In fact, a recent analysis form Moody’s Investors Services discovered that the era of unusually affordable housing has ended, therefore impacting the average Americans ability to navigate an already weakening market.

“Homes are no longer relatively cheap on a national basis, and certain market segments are in worse shape, reflecting supply-and-demand imbalances stemming from the 2007 through 2012 housing slump, as well as demographic changes and the long U.S. economic expansion and its unevenly spread benefits,” Moody wrote. “Reduced affordability is also a lingering issue in the rental market, where the effects are in some ways more severe.”

And Moody’s findings are supported, as a recent poll conducted by Fannie Mae claims that most Americans can’t even afford to live in neighborhoods that provide them with adequate opportunities.

According to Fannie’s poll, 46% of American adults say they cannot afford to live in communities with access to better schools and childcare. Additionally, 58% of those surveyed say it’s currently too expensive to live in communities that offer them better job prospects.

“When families live in stable and affordable homes in a sustainable community, they have greater opportunities to prosper in other aspects of life, including educational and economic advancement,” Fannie Mae Vice President of Sustainable Communities Maria Evans said. “When nearly 6 in 10 Americans have to sacrifice economic opportunities and nearly half have to sacrifice quality education and childcare because of housing affordability, it’s clear we need to bring new ideas to the marketplace.”

And Fannie intends to do just that.

In order to identify innovative solutions to the nation’s affordability crisis, the government sponsored enterprise has launched the third and final phase of its Sustainable Communities Initiative.

The Sustainable Communities Initiative is a two-year, $10 million challenge that has focused on the development of collaborative, cross-sector approaches to advancing sustainable communities.

The third phase of “The Challenge,” which opened Wednesday and ends in late May, is now seeking creative ideas that will provide underserved and low-income Americans access to quality affordable housing, while also creating opportunities in education and economic mobility.

“The affordability, quality, and location of where one lives has substantial implications for outcomes in education and economic mobility,” Evans said. “Through the Sustainable Communities Initiative, Fannie Mae aims not only to create stability through housing, but also to catalyze opportunities in education and forge pathways to economic mobility.”

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