AACC survey shows economy as major concern


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Rising housing prices is a major concern for Anne Arundel County residents, according to a survey conducted by AACC’s Center for the Study of Local Issues.

Tomi Brunton, Associate Editor

An AACC survey of 523 Anne Arundel County residents in April revealed the state of the economy is their biggest concern.

The survey, by AACC’s Center for the Study of Local Issues, noted a “sharp increase” in the number of respondents citing rising housing costs as a key problem compared with last fall, according to the survey’s director Dan Nataf.

Nataf, the director of the Center, said “housing issues [are] a really complicated issue. …  It did seem that poor people, African Americans, renters, … were all affected by housing costs disproportionately compared to others.”

The Center, established in 1978, surveys Anne Arundel County residents twice a year in the spring and the fall.

Nataf told Campus Current the survey painted a “mixed picture” about the future of the county and of Maryland.

“Concerns about the economy are pretty important,” Nataf, a political science professor, said. “Concerns about crime and drugs are pretty important. And even concerns about the environment and development are pretty significant. So it’s going to take very clever governing, policies and outreach to hold it together. To make sure that no one gets left behind.”

The percentage of respondents who view COVID-19 as the county’s biggest issue dropped 8% compared with last spring.

“The thing that is remarkable about COVID is how it’s gone really down the tubes as an issue,” Nataf said. “It just shows you how far we’ve come.”

Nataf added the survey “allows us to understand” the state of the county.

“Its [purpose] is to take a pulse of Anne Arundel County public opinion,” Nataf said. “It’s interesting stuff.”