BEND, OR -- Bend is asking for feedback on the availability of fair and accessible housing in the city. Affordable Housing Manager Racheal Baker says a new survey will collect data from the community about their housing experiences, "And make sure that they have housing choice in our community, and that they can access housing in any neighborhood they would like to choose, and that they have the community resources in the neighborhoods in which they live."
She tells KBND News the city is trying to gather important feedback, "If they have experienced discrimination; if they have accessibility in the housing with which they live; if they have their safety concerns addressed in their neighborhood; if they have access to hospitals, grocery stores, childcare, within their neighborhood."
The city typically conducts surveys every two or three years, to comply with requirements for recipients of federal community development block grants. "We did one last year," says Baker, "And it was a little more difficult during the pandemic to get the outreach. So, we’re redoing this. And, in addition, the federal government has slightly restructured things, so we’re trying to adhere to those requirements." She says last year's survey received around 800 responses.
Baker admits past surveys in Bend have revealed obvious challenges, "I think it’s really difficult to have fair housing if people cannot afford the housing with which to live in. And so, as the Affordable Housing Manager, it is my job to make sure that we’re doing our best to create affordability throughout our community."
The online survey should take about 10 minutes and Baker says the goal is to hear from a diverse array of residents. Click HERE to access Bend's Fair Housing Survey by October 13th.