Skip to Content

C.O. housing needs assessment looks at crisis


The Housing for All regional housing consortium said Thursday it has published the 2019 Regional Housing Needs Assessment for Central Oregon, diving deep into the issues, impacts and possible strategies to help address the crisis.

The RHNA is the result of extensive public and stakeholder engagement and data analysis and provides an overview of housing market activity, regional housing needs by income, the impacts of the housing crisis across Central Oregon, and strategies and best practices as identified by stakeholders.

The full report and a convenient list of select findings can be accessed here: . Some key findings include:

Impacts of the housing crisis – The RHNA demonstrates the numerous ways in which the housing crisis affects Central Oregon households and communities, and also provides an extensive list of “stories” from those affected. The housing crisis inhibits economic growth, impacts household and community well-being, contributes to rising homelessness, and increases burdens on health and criminal justice agencies (Chapter 2) Not surprisingly, a key driver for the housing crisis is the enormous population growth being experienced by the region since 1990 , with Deschutes County leading the way. Between 2000 and 2017, the region added about 75,000 residents and grew by 49% (Chapter 3). Building activity has increased across the region since the Recession, but has not kept up with population growth . A recent report by Up For Growth notes that, from 2010 to 2016, Deschutes County produced 0.85 new housing units per new household, Crook produced 0.72, and Jefferson produced only 0.28 (Chapter 4). Rental cost burden is significant across the region – Nearly half the region’s renters are considered to be cost burdened – over 30% of their household income is expended on housing-related costs, and just over 25% are considered “severely” cost burdened, spending 50% or more of their household income on housing (Chapter 5). Minority households experience cost burden more than white households. 77.5% of black households and 46.1% of Hispanic households experience “housing needs” compared to 37% of white households. A total of 24,092 low to moderate income households experienced “housing needs” (cost burden, overcrowding, or lacking complete facilities) in 2017. If conditions stay the same, this figure is projected to increase to 30,704 households by 2028. Solutions – The final section of the RHNA provides a wide array of strategies that might be effective in addressing the housing crisis in Central Oregon. The eight-page executive summary concludes with a list of potential strategies that could be employed at the regional, state and local levels to deal with the issue, from employer-sponsored down payment assistance to promoting accessory dwelling units and “safe parking” areas for people living out of vehicles.

Housing for All developed the RHNA in order to create baseline shared data to measure progress on meeting housing needs over time, to help inform local housing policy and program development, and to assist regional housing groups in seeking funding.

“The availability of housing affects every part of our lives here in Central Oregon,” says Lisa Dobey , executive director of community and philanthropy for St. Charles Health System and co-chair of H4A . ” If our region is to be great, it has to work for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Whatever your economic circumstances, your age, your abilities, or your desired community – housing is a essential component of the well-being of Central Oregon. ”

Housing for All is a regional housing consortium with the mission: “To address the full spectrum of Central Oregon’s housing needs – from homelessness to middle income market housing – through integrated regional effort and action.” H4A is steered by 19 member organizations representing 13 different sectors related to housing. H4A’s Charter outlines the mission, membership/structure, and a brief work plan:

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content