“Women wield more and more influence in the management of personal and family finances,” comments NHPF CEO Richard Burns, “ Thirty seven percent of married women are now the breadwinners in their families. That statistic alone made it crucial for us to tap into this group and gauge their thoughts about housing for their family.” Many women live with extended family. Seventeen percent of those with a partner and children also report parents or other relatives living with them, emblematic of the modern “sandwich generation.” Coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981, the term refers to women in their 30s and 40s who were sandwiched between young children and aging parents as the primary caregiver for both. But The NHP Foundation’s Burns has expanded the term’s definition beyond health to other basic needs such as housing, finding that those who fall under this new “sandwich generation” bracket have a new set of housing anxieties.
NEW ADMINISTRATION BRINGS CONCERNS
Nearly 40% of moms in the survey say they have no confidence that the new administration will make affordable housing a priority. This is coupled with worries about affording rent or mortgage—56% of those surveyed worry about affording those payments. Nearly 74% are concerned that they or someone they know will find themselves “cost-burdened,” defined as spending more than 30% of one’s income on housing. Is there a bright side for anxious moms this Mother’s Day? According to NHPF President and CEO Burns, his organization is looking to the government to continue such successful programs as LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), which gives incentives to private equity for the development of affordable housing. Explains Burns, “LIHTC is vital to enabling providers to offer stable, long-term affordable housing options.” The NHP Foundation is going even further to find solutions to help alleviate family concerns about housing. The organization is looking at new private and public partnerships designed to increase its stock of quality affordable housing. NHPF has also been selected by the University of Virginia School of Public Policy as part of a study seeking new models to help ensure that this and future generations are able to afford desirable places to live. Other research undertaken by NHPF has found that 75% of Americans worry about losing their housing. The organization determined that 76% of millennials have made compromises in order to find affordable housing and, a third of Baby Boomers report “housing affordability” anxiety at least monthly.
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