Bend Workforce Housing Solutions Summit
Like the rest of Oregon, Bend and Deschutes County is greatly impacted by the lack of workforce housing and has experienced challenges in attracting and retaining talent.
An employer housing research study conducted by EcoNorthwest in October 2022 with over 200 regional employers across several industry sectors found that:
· 81% of respondents stated that the high cost of housing severely impacted their ability to hire
· 66% of respondents experienced decreased revenue due to the hiring shortage
· 37% of respondents have considered direct housing interventions, such as building or purchasing workforce housing
MMHF CEO, Nathan Wildfire, with members of Leadership Bend who organized the Workforce Housing Solutions Summit
Approximately 70 attendees from Bend, Portland, and Central Oregon answered the call to brainstorm and prioritize solutions around three main areas of impact: “housing workforce and labor”, “financing and funding”, and "products, materials, design and assembly”.
The result: six action plans to carry forward, driven by people and organizations committed to solving our housing underproduction crisis. The six working groups will spearhead new work or join existing efforts to:
Create a revolving investment gap fund to build workforce housing
Create an employer-driven and supported workforce housing initiative - center the individual needs of employers and put them collectively in the driver seat
Increase funding to already successful local workforce development efforts in the construction and development industries
Issue permits faster
Reform the condo defect law to advance condos as a viable workforce housing solution
Launch the Central Oregon Childcare and Housing Taskforce - incorporate incentives for childcare solutions to advance the creation of more workforce housing
Contact us to get involved with any of the groups above or to learn more about how we can facilitate this kind of work in your community.