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New Poll Shows Virginians Strongly Favor Policies that Make Housing More Affordable

A majority of Virginians want to expand state funding for affordable housing and require utility companies to support efficiency upgrades that help families save on energy bills.

Today, CHACE revealed the results of a statewide public opinion survey on housing and energy efficiency issues conducted by the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

The poll’s findings demonstrate that, by a wide margin, Virginians want a full spectrum of housing opportunities for all their neighbors.

  • 82% of voters strongly believe that people who work in their community should be able to find a home there.
  • 56% of voters agree that housing affordability is vital to their community’s economic success.
  • 58% of voters also believe that ending homelessness is an important government priority.
  • 78% of those surveyed said they were supportive of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund
  • Respondents overwhelmingly supported the continued use of the Housing Trust Fund to address homelessness (80%) and supported the use of the fund for “aging in place” modifications that help Virginians remain in their homes as they get older (87%).
  • 89% of Virginians favor holding energy companies accountable by requiring them to meet energy saving goals for their customers.
  • Over half (61%) of those surveyed are also willing to pay a 50 cent surcharge on their utility bill to help fund weatherization and energy efficiency programs.

Christie Marra of the Virginia Poverty Law Center stated, “The results of this statewide poll demonstrate exactly what we suspected when we decided to launch the CHACE campaign: Virginians recognize how crucial safe, affordable, energy efficient housing is not only for themselves but for their neighbors as well.”

Sim Wimbush, executive director of the Virginia Housing Alliance, added, “[VHA] believes that having access to safe and stable homes is vital for all Virginians. It’s encouraging to see with these poll results that Virginians agree and support our belief, recognizing the value of being part of vibrant communities that contain a variety of housing opportunities that can meet a wide range of family budgets.”

This public opinion poll is the first statewide effort to ask Virginians their thoughts on housing, homelessness, and policy solutions. 509 registered voters were interviewed between September 3rd and September 10th, 2017. Questions revolved around the Campaign’s three policy priorities: increasing funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, expanding energy efficiency programs, and ensuring support services are available for individuals exiting homelessness. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.3%.

Click here to read the entire press release, and click here to read the full poll results. For questions, contact Zack Miller, Director of Policy for the Virginia Housing Alliance, at zmiller@vahousingalliance.org or 804-678-8893.