Economic Elites and Support for Housing Affordability Policy: How a Housing-Health Belief Matters

Abstract

To investigate economic elites’ housing policy preferences and test the attitudinal, contextual, political, and economic conditions that drive support for affordable housing policies, focusing on the influence of a housing-health belief mechanism. Using proprietary 2015–2016 national data, we apply multivariate regression analysis and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to demonstrate the potential impact of a particular framing strategy—the housing-health belief mechanism—on economic elites’ housing policy preferences. First, the results from both methods suggest the utility of promoting belief in the interconnection between housing affordability and health, which significantly increases economic elite support and functions alongside other conditions to support housing affordability strategies. Second, support for wage-based policies is better explained than development-based policies, suggesting different policy preferences among economic elites. Third, regardless of other beliefs about equality or rights, belief that housing affordability is linked to health significantly increases affordable housing policy support. Fourth, geographic proximity to housing crisis alone does not create support for housing policies. Framing housing affordability as a fundamental contributor to health may be central to overcoming opposition and help offer economic elites new ways of thinking about the societal impacts of housing affordability and increase policy support.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Italics in the original.

  2. 2.

    For overviews and detailed introductions, see Hudson and Kühner (2013), Mahoney (2010), Ragin (2014), Rihoux and Ragin (2008), Schneider and Wagemann (2012) or Vis (2012).

  3. 3.

    The data used for these analyses are proprietary and cannot be released publicly, but access can be requested from the FrameWorks Institute (https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/) and Enterprise Community Partners (https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/).

    The replication code for fsQCA (R) and regression (Stata) analyses contains all necessary information users would need to execute analyses (https://psu.app.box.com/s/thgaarykzhmvi8svpmejgzrtosfy0uda).

  4. 4.

    We use a three-point scale for parsimony. Results are similar for five- and seven-point scales.

  5. 5.

    Because of the high median value of the health-housing belief variable, we tested alternative variable constructions to confirm the results. The coefficient here is a conservative estimate, potentially obscuring threshold effects of the high value categories of this variable.

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Ortiz, S.E., Adler, G.J. & Johannes, B.L. Economic Elites and Support for Housing Affordability Policy: How a Housing-Health Belief Matters. Polit Behav (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-020-09623-4

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Keywords

  • Affordable housing
  • Economic elites
  • Policy preferences
  • Framing
  • Housing-health link