Results for a new community survey show Bendites’ opinions on their quality of life is dwindling.
“I have actually been thinking of moving out of town, because it’s different than it was 20 years ago,” Bendite Molly Connors said.
The survey conducted last year and presented to the Bend City Council Wednesday found that 70% of residents consider quality of life here to be excellent or good. While that number is high, it’s a noticeable drop from the 88% who said the same thing just two years earlier.
The main top-of-mind issues were shown to be homelessness and affordable housing.
“As a single mom of two kids, I work at the hospital as a nurse, and I have a second job and it’s tough to live in this community because of the cost of living,” Sandy Gersbach said. “It’s tough. It’s easy to get burnt out working two jobs, trying to make ends meet.”
The survey found affordable housing is a top issue for 25% of those who responded, about the same as two years ago.
Homelessness made a significant jump when it comes to importance for residents, coming in at 36%. It was at 8% in 2020.
“The homelessness is really sad and I don’t know what the answer is to that,” Bendite Susan Colletto said.
Bend’s urban growth also seems to be a main concern.
“Just a few minutes ago I was thinking ‘All the cars, all the cars, all the cars.’ It’s the traffic, It’s the crime,” Connors said.
“The town is growing. Maybe a little bit bigger and faster than I would like. But that’s what happens in towns like this that are beautiful and have a lot to offer,” Colletto said.
Forty-three percent of respondents give city leaders an “A” or “B” grade, down from 65% in 2020.
You can find more results from this survey here.