League of Women Voters: Affordable Housing Forum

It’s no secret that affordable housing in Bend is hard to come by. With the average sale price of single family homes rapidly rising and rents at an all-time high, affordable housing is a pressing topic that community leaders are anxious to address. Deschutes Public Library is pleased to partner with the Deschutes County League of Women Voters to host an Affordable Housing Forum on Feb.16 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Downtown Bend Library.

During the forum, officials from the City of Bend, Housing Works and the Central Oregon Builders Association will discuss the issue and offer insight into possible solutions to Bend’s affordable housing crunch.

Last year the Deschutes County League of Women Voters began a study of the lack of affordable housing in Bend. Fees, shortage of buildable land, market pressures, rapid population growth and the lack of new multiple unit housing construction have all been cited as contributing to the current crisis. Regardless of the cause, the results of rising rents and escalating home prices disproportionately impact low and middle income populations. The Deschutes County League of Women Voters estimates that at any given time, less than 1 percent of the total number of rental units in Bend are vacant and when comparing the mean price of a single family dwelling with the mean income of Bend residents, a significant number of locals cannot afford to buy a home here.

Participants on the panel include Andy High, vice president of government affairs, Central Oregon Builders Association; Tom Kemper, executive director, Housing Works; Gillian Ockner, senior policy analyst for the City of Bend; and Brian Rankin, City of Bend long range planning manager.

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at

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