Our Valley housing survey packs some powerful insights
The Our Valley Our Future housing survey is yielding fascinating insights about the situation renters and buyers find themselves in as well as attitudes about the importance of affordable housing. These results are preliminary but more than 1,600 surveys have been filled out, according to Steve Maher, the Our Valley coordinator. Surveys are still being filled out through the middle of the month. The survey is the first step in Our Valley bringing together a task force to analyze the results and propose ways that we can address the housing situation in a collaborative manner as a valley rather than individual, isolated communities.
Here are a few insights that stand out:
First, when asked the importance of housing availability and affordability, nearly 73 percent of the respondents so far have said it’s extremely important and 22 percent said its very important. It’s clear that this issue is a critical priority for our valley.
A second question asked whether choices are needed in terms of the types of housing available, and more than 90 percent agreed with that statement.
Here’s a really interesting preliminary result. The survey asked whether individuals had confidence that the market alone would address the housing crisis in the valley, and 80 percent said “no.”
When asked if the housing situation caused the respondents to consider moving to a different city, more than 45 percent agreed.
Finally, 47 percent said the amount they are paying for rent is more than they can afford.
These results should make every public official and civic leader stand up and take notice. We cannot wish this problem out of existence and coordinated action and a mindset that reflects what’s in the best interest of the valley for the long term is absolutely essential.
This effort proves once again the value of the Our Valley Our Future grass-roots community building effort. Addressing the housing issue was one of several game changers, because it is widely understood that quality of life and economic development are significantly impacted by this situation.
Maher told me that the survey would remain open for input through the middle of August. There are many more interesting insights and anecdotes emerging from this process and it is going to give us the ammunition to take action as a valley to address this issue.
To add your input to the survey, visit ourvalleyourfuture.org.