BendBend residents survey: Homelesness, affordable housing are top priorities

Bend residents survey: Homelesness, affordable housing are top priorities

Bend residents survey: Homelesness, affordable housing are top priorities

Downtown Bend, Oregon

How happy are people living in Bend? It turns out, not as happy as they were a few years ago according to a recent survey of residents conducted for the city.

One big number that jumps out: 70% of people in the city say the quality of life as excellent or good. That’s down from 88% just two years earlier.

The survey found that homelessness as a top-of-mind issue has increased dramatically in the past two years. Thirty-six percent said it was a top issue in 2022 compared to 8% in 2020.

Affordable housing was right behind at 25% — about the same as two years ago.

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Residents say increasing affordable housing and long-range community planning are their top priorities over the next ten years.

To tackle the issue of homelessness, 53% of respondents say they want the city to work with Deschutes County to ensure access to mental health and addiction services.

About one-quarter say they want the city to provide grants to non-profits to provide services to people experiencing homelessness and provide shelters for vulnerable populations. And 20% say they want the city to create additional organized camp facilities for people experiencing homelessness while 10% want to the city to safe parking spaces where people can sleep in their vehicles.

Concerns about transportation have started to fade from 36% in 2020 to 20% in 2022.

Forty-three percent of respondents give city leaders an “A” or “B” grade, down from 65% in 2020.

The bend city council will be going through the results of that survey Wednesday night to drive decisions going forward. You can see the full presentation and survey results given to the council at this link.
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