Most Floridians say they know a close relative or friend who has suffered from affordable housing insecurity in the state and they want local government officials in the Sunshine State to address the issue soon, according to a new Mason-Dixon opinion poll.
As property values continue to climb higher, a stunning 58% of Floridians polled say they know of an extended family member or friend who has faced housing insecurity or who have struggled to find affordable housing, results showed in the poll released this month.
The questionnaire even broke down responses from five different geographic regions in the state, with 61% of Central Florida residents saying they know of someone who has struggled with affordable housing. That was the largest response from any region in Florida.
The Tampa Bay area had 59% of respondents affirming they know someone who is hurting in the current affordable housing crisis, followed closely by the North Florida region at 58%. No region in the state recorded a response to that question under 50%, with Southwest Florida being the lowest at 52%.
The results of the poll also show a vast majority of Floridians want their own local governments to step up and address the affordable housing crisis quickly. A whopping 69% of all Floridians want government action on affordable housing and say local political leaders have a responsibility to do so.
No fewer than 57% of the state’s residents in five regions say government needs to get with the program with 79% of Southeast Florida residents saying local officials need to take action on the issue. That was followed closely by the Tampa Bay area at 75%. Southwest Florida recorded the lowest response but that was still at that 57% mark.
The perception that there is an affordable housing crisis is embedded in the minds of Floridians. Some 63% of all Floridians say they believe community business owners who say they’re having difficulty attracting workers due to the lack of affordable housing. Southeast Floridians again lead the pack in that perception with 76% there believing their business leaders on the issue.
The Tampa Bay area followed that figure with 64% believing business owners while Central Florida, North Florida and Southeast Floridians all ranging between 53% and 57%.
The affordable housing issue also appears to have political traction. The Mason-Dixon pollsters asked whether a local or state elected official addressing affordable housing would make it likely for residents to vote for them.
Some 54% of across-the-state respondents said they would likely vote for such a candidate. Southeast Florida led the way in that metric with 63% of those taking part in the poll agreeing they would vote for an affordable housing advocate on an election ballot.
The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20 and pollsters contacted 625 registered voters across Florida by telephone. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, Mason-Dixon officials said.