BEND, OR -- A consortium of regional housing experts released the results of a survey of Central Oregon’s housing needs, and the overall findings aren’t surprising. "Everyone agrees that housing affordability, as well as just general availability, is a serious issue for the region," says Scott Aycock, Community and Economic Development Manager for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC). "This survey asks folks that are familiar with everything from the Warm Springs market, to the La Pine market, to Prineville to Sisters, and everything in between."
The survey was conducted by "Housing for All," with support from COIC. Aycock says they found the housing crisis not only impacts low-income residents competing for subsidies. Middle-income families are also struggling to afford, or even just find, a place to rent or own. Aycock says developers are helping alleviate some of the problem, with new single and multi-family housing projects. "But, I also think that a lot of those are really being focused on Bend and Redmond. And, there are other communities that are having a harder time seeing development of that slice of the – what we might call ‘market provided’ affordable housing." And, he tells KBND News, the far reaching effects stretch into commerce, as business owners struggle to attract new workers to the area, "They are citing housing costs and lack of housing as a key problem for recruiting employees. And that, not only do they recognize it, they may be willing to get engaged and do something about it."
Aycock says the results of the study will be used to create future policy and look in to ways the public and private sector can work together to address the problem. "This need isn’t going to go away, but we’ve got to start somewhere and we’re not going to probably meet it immediately; it’s going to take years."
To listen to our full conversation with COIC's Scott Aycock, visit our Podcast Page