Central Oregon families struggle to find affordable housing

Choosing between tent and RV: 'It's all greed'

Finding affordable housing in Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. - It's a story we've heard many times before: the struggle to find housing in Central Oregon -- and then the fight to be able to afford it.

Samantha McCracken said Tuesday she has been trying to find a shared living space with another single parent, and it hasn't been easy. 

"The waitlists are huge, getting into somewhere. And then finding somewhere that's clean and willing to take a single mom on a single income is difficult," she said.

A quick glance at Craigslist will show dozens of people desperate to get a roof over their heads.

But in Central Oregon's tight housing market, that isn't easy, despite the construction of hundreds of new apartments and homes in recent year

Rodney Tiahrt has lived in Bend for 40 years and is the landlord for 11 properties. He said he thinks landlords in Central Oregon are money-hungry. 

"I don't understand why people want to take advantage of everyone else so much. It's all greed," Tiahrt said.

He said most landlords charge two or three times what he charges. He said he keeps the rent affordable because it's the right thing to do.

"America's about helping people, making your life better, making my life better. If I make your life better, it's a better life," Tiahrt said.

"Bend used to be this small little community of everyone looking out for each other," he said. "And the bigger it gets, we're losing that small town atmosphere -- and it's greed."

Many renters -- including Tanya Galloway, a forth-generation Oregonian who has a teenage son -- would like to see more of that kind of attitude. 

"Our choices are to go live in a fleabag motel somewhere with no cooking facilities, with drug addicts and prostitutes," Galloway said. "We can go live in a shelter with a lot of drug addicts and prostitutes and not a safe environment. We can go live in our tent or we can go stay in an RV for a while."

She's not alone. Campers and recreational vehicles are parked across Central Oregon as people try to figure out a way to live.

A recent report found the average rent in Bend to be just over $1,100 a month.

Every local government is working to try to find solutions -- but that's not proving to be easy, either.

Our new KTVZ.COM Poll asks if you've been having trouble lately finding an affordable place to rent on the High Desert. Find it halfway down the right side of our home page.

By clicking Submit users are agreeing to follow the Terms of Service
comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular Stories