• Polling

Four in Five Support Cracking Down on Rent Gouging

Thursday, May 23, 2024 By Maryann Cousens
Download Full Report

Poll: Housing, Rent, and Home Ownership

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on the latest perceptions of housing, including whether Americans believe there is a housing shortage in their community or in the country, who is to blame for the rising cost of housing, and what policies Americans would like to see enacted to lower housing costs.

The federal government is viewed as most responsible for policies on housing affordability.


Two in three Americans think there are housing shortages nationally, while fewer than half are noticing shortages in their own neighborhoods. 65 percent of Americans think there is a shortage of housing nationally while significantly fewer believe there is a shortage of housing in their neighborhood (48 percent). A majority across party lines believe there is a shortage of housing nationally, including 73 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents, and 58 percent of Republicans. 

  • Groups that are most likely to think there is a housing shortage in their neighborhoods include majorities of Hispanic Americans (58 percent), those under the age of 35 (56 percent), those living in cities (56 percent), and those who rent their house or apartment (56 percent). Nearly two in three who are unfavorable to both Biden and Trump also believe there is a nationwide housing shortage (64 percent).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: More Americans Note a National Housing Shortage Than One in Their Own Neighborhood

Making housing more affordable and reducing homelessness are top priorities for Americans when it comes to housing.


Most Americans say making housing more affordable for people in their communities is one of their biggest housing priorities (51 percent), followed by reducing homelessness (50 percent), and making housing more affordable for their own families (44 percent). Making housing more affordable (53 percent of independents, 52 percent of Democrats, and 49 percent of Republicans) and reducing homelessness 54 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of independents and 47 percent of Republicans) are the biggest housing priorities across party lines. Among renters, 59 percent say making housing more affordable for themselves and their families is a big priority compared to 32 percent of homeowners who say the same.

  • A plurality of Americans believe the federal government is most responsible for policies on housing affordability (39 percent), with 28 percent who believe state governments are most responsible, and 14 percent who say the same about local governments).
  • By 16 points, more Americans think it is more important to bring down the cost of buying a home in the area where they live (50 percent) than making rent more affordable (34 percent). Among Americans who rent their home, three in five say it is more important to bring down the cost to rent in the area where they live (61 percent) than to bring down the cost of buying a home (32 percent). 
  • When thinking about the issue of housing in general, Americans similarly believe  bringing down the cost of buying a home (53 percent) is more important than bringing down the cost to rent a home or apartment (41 percent).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: The Federal Government Is Seen As Most Responsible for Housing Affordability
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Prefer Lowering Costs of Buying Over Renting a Home, Though the Story Is Mixed With Black and Hispanic Americans

Americans most blame greedy landlords, elected officials, and the Federal Reserve for the rise in housing costs.


Majorities across party lines believe greedy landlords are most to blame for rising housing costs, with an overwhelming majority supporting cracking down on rent gouging. 57 percent say greedy landlords who are jacking up prices are responsible for rising housing costs including majorities across partisanship, with 61 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of Republicans, and 52 percent of independents blaming greedy landlords most. More than four in five support cracking down on rent gouging by corporate landlords (86 percent), think cracking down on rent gouging by corporate landlords would be effective in helping people like them afford housing (82 percent), and support cracking down on hidden and misleading rental fees, like insurance fees or deposit fees (86 percent). 

  • 50 percent of Americans also blame elected officials who have failed to pass affordable housing policies or voted to cut funding for affordable housing for the rise in housing costs in recent years, including a majority of Democrats (55 percent) and independents (52 percent).
  • Americans living in households earning less than $100,000 per year believe cracking down on rent gouging by corporate landlords would be the most effective policy in helping people like them (83 percent). 
  • 84 percent of Black Americans believe cracking down on high closing costs imposed by lenders would be effective in helping people like them make housing more affordable, including 55 percent who believe such an action would be “very” effective.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Greedy Landlords, Elected Officials, and the Federal Reserve Most Responsible for Housing Costs
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Overwhelmingly Back Cracking Down on Corporate Landlords, Rental Fees, and High Closing Costs
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Cracking Down on Corporate Landlords, Rental Fees, and High Closing Costs Most Supported and Most Personally Beneficial

Most Americans Support Legislation Protecting LGBTQ+ Americans from Discrimination

Polling data on LGBTQ+ issues in the United States, including support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to anti-discrimination laws.

Most Americans Think the United States Is Not Doing Enough to Support Families

Polling data on the U.S. government’s support for families, including polling on government programs that aim to help families with children.

Most Impactful Congressional Accomplishments: Lowering Health Care Costs & Domestic Manufacturing

Poll data on how constituents perceive a variety of different policies passed by Congress in recent years and how they evaluate forward-looking goals and priorities of Democratic lawmakers in Congress.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted a public opinion survey among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from May 9-May 12, 2024. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 72 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

Like the info here?

Get it directly in your inbox when new polls are released.

About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org