Ned flanders

Howdy, English-speaking neighbor!

A new Trulia survey on what Americans think about their neighbors helps explain why suburbanites are so afraid of affordable housing, particularly when it comes to rentals. The “people like us” preference comes shining through their responses.

Trulia surveyed about 3,000 American adults who live in both suburban and urban settings. While a solid majority reported that they like their neighbors — even if they don’t know their names — they also acknowledged distinct preferences about who lives next door.

  • One in three said it was important that they and their neighbors speak the same language. The preference was a good deal stronger among suburbanites than urbanites.
  • Thirty-five percent said it was important that their neighbors be homeowners, not renters. And again, among suburban respondents alone, the preference was stronger, at 38 percent.

Having sat through many a debate over affordable housing, I know that an awful lot of people still associate affordable housing with a scary “other,” often lumped into a group vaguely identified as “those people.” As this survey shows, otherness is often the enemy in suburbia.



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4 thoughts on “The “other” next door

  1. To Lisa Prevost: While I applaud your efforts to expose “Snobby areas, you might want to practice what you preach by living in a area with large Multifamily Housing projects. Last time I checked Schoharie County has some of the most restrictive historic zoning and development laws which have the unintended effect of discouraging Multifamily Development. While Multifamily development does bring some positive effects including increased diversity it also brings increased congestion, crime, and environmental damage such as increased trash to areas where most people have worked hard to find areas to get away from those issues. I believe you are one of those people. Why not propose a big Multifamily housing development in your little hometown of Cobbleskill, NY. I’m sure many of the potential residents would love to move to that historic little town.

    • Bob,

      You make a good point. But I do not live in Cobbleskill, NY or Schoharie County and never have. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else.


  2. Pingback: What happens when white commuters must wait with Mexicans? | Snob zonesSnob zones

  3. Pingback: The whys of opposition to affordable housingSnob zones

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