Services to Reduce Houselessness

Oregonians weigh in on which services will help reduce houselessness, including if, or how, the government should support these services.

From October 6-14, 2022, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of
Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including which services they think will make a difference in reducing
houselessness and how services should be funded. A description of the methodology used for the
research is provided below.

The question numbers in this document correspond with the survey questionnaire (Q12-18,Q36-41).
Due to rounding, the percentages reported below may not add to 100% or compare exactly to the
percentages for the same question in the annotated questionnaire or tabs. Subgroup variations
between BIPOC and white Oregonians; rural and urban residents; and age groups have been of
particular interest to individuals and organizations and are provided in the Demographic Trends section
below.

Which Services Do Oregonians Believe Will Help?

OVBC presented Oregonians with a list of services that could be offered to address houselessness in their area and asked how much impact if any, these services would have in reducing houselessness. A majority of Oregonians believe each of these services would have at least some impact, although some decidedly more so than others (Q12-Q18).

Mental Health Treatment

Four out of five Oregonians believe mental health treatment will make a difference in reducing houselessness (79%) including 56% who say it will have a strong impact (Q14).

  • Women are more likely than men to believe mental health treatment will have an impact (81% vs. 76%), including a strong impact (59% vs. 53%).
  • By region, those living in either the Tri-County area (81%) or the Willamette Valley (81%) are more likely than those living in other areas of the state (75%) to think mental health treatment will have an impact, and that it will have a strong impact (Tri-County: 60%; Willamette Valley: 59%; rest of state: 49%).
  • Regardless of party affiliation, a strong majority of Oregonians think mental health treatment will help reduce houselessness, but Democrats are especially likely to say so (85%, compared to 72% of Republicans and 78% of Independent and non-affiliated voters).
    • Democrats (62%) and Independent or non-affiliated voters (57%) are more likely than Republicans (48%) to say mental health treatment would have a strong impact.
  • People who identify as socially (88%) or economically liberal (86%) are particularly likely to view mental health treatment as an avenue to reducing houselessness (compared to moderates: 74%-76%; and conservatives: 68%-73%).

When given the opportunity to comment, Oregonians shared the following thoughts about houselessness and mental health (Q48):

“Mental health facilities should be a primary concern for our government. The lack of these is a major contributor to why there are so many homeless. I know this from personal experience as a family member is homeless and he’s also schizophrenic he’s been in and out of jail repeatedly his whole life. Mental health is a serious issue in our country, and it really needs to be addressed.  It needs to be a priority!”

Woman, age 55-64, Klamath County, Prefers not to disclose race/ethnicity

“Severe mental illness can be fatal. No one asks for this illness. Schizophrenia spectrum disorders aren’t behaviors that one can overcome by working harder.”

Woman, age 65-74, Lane County, White

“Houselessness of the mentally ill needs a real solution, not just a band-aid and throwing more and more money at the problem and not solving anything. They need the care that institutional life can provide. They would be safe there and the public could be safe from the issues the homeless have been causing. Enough is enough.”

Woman, age 55-64, Deschutes County, White

Long Term or Permanent Housing

Three-quarters of Oregonians believe long-term or permanent housing would have a notable impact on houselessness in their region (75%, with 50% saying it would have a strong impact and 26% saying it would have some impact) (Q17).

  • Addressing houselessness through long-term or permanent housing is seen as impactful by women (79%), more so than men (71%).
  • Democrats (85%) and people who are ideologically liberal (economic: 89%; social: 88%) are big believers in long-term or permanent housing as means to reduce houselessness. The majority of Republicans (60%) and conservatives (economic: 59%; social: 57%) agree but are less confident this type of housing would make a difference. Independent or non-affiliated voters (74%) and moderates (economic: 74%; social: 70%) tend to be somewhere between.
  • Multnomah County residents feel permanent housing would help (83%), even more so than people in other counties (74%).

When given the opportunity to comment, Oregonians shared the following thoughts about housing related to houselessness (Q48):

“The lack of affordable housing and a housing shortage, in general, are an increasing problem, leading to rampant homelessness and the inability of young people to own a home.”

Woman, age 55-64, Clackamas County, White

“People need to be empowered to work together to change their lives, not just be the helpless recipients of top-down charity.  That is why I believe that homeless people (especially families) should be encouraged to come together and create housing cooperatives that they govern together, and the government should offer low-interest or no-interest loans to construct physical housing.  Rents would not be for profit but only enough to pay off such loans and other expenses.”

Woman, age 65-74, Washington County, Native American, American Indian, or Alaska Native

Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation

Drug treatment is seen as a measure that would make a dent in Oregon’s houselessness crisis (74%) (Q15).

  • More women than men think drug treatment will help (78% compared to 71%).
  • People with higher incomes and higher levels of formal education are more likely to believe drug treatment will be impactful ($100K or more, 4-year degree or more: 78%, each), while those with some or no college (73%, 72%) or making less than $100,000  ($50K-$100K: 74%; less than $50K: 72%) are slightly less confident.
  • In a continuing trend, Democrats (81%) and liberals (economic: 82%; social: 83%) are more likely to say treatment for substance use will have an impact, although a majority of their counterparts agree (65%-74%).

Workforce Training and Self-Sufficiency Training

Workforce training (70%) and skills that promote self-sufficiency (66%) are also seen as important but having less impact than the top priorities of mental health treatment, drug  treatment and rehabilitation, and permanent housing (Q12,Q13).

  • Women say that workforce (73%) and self-sufficiency training (69%) would have an impact on reducing houselessness a bit more often than men (67%, 62%) (Q12,Q13).
  • Oregonians who rent believe workforce training (75%) and self-sufficiency training (72%) would help reduce houselessness more so than residents who own their own homes (workforce: 66%; life skills: 61%) (Q12,Q13).
  • Once again, fewer Republicans and conservatives, but still a majority, believe training to help people with workforce skills (Republicans: 63%; conservatives: 58%-59%) and self-sufficiency (Republicans: 56%; conservatives: 54%-55%) will have an impact.

Temporary and No-Barrier Shelters

Temporary shelters and no-barrier shelters are seen as being the least impactful, but more than half of Oregonians say these services would have an impact (temporary: 63%; no-barrier: 61%) (Q16,Q18).

  • For both temporary and no-barrier shelters, almost a third of residents believe these would have a strong impact on reducing houselessness in Oregon (29%,31%).
  • The same populations that are more likely to think temporary shelter placement will have an impact, are also more likely to believe the same about no-barrier shelters:
    • Women (temporary: 68%; no-barrier: 63%) more than men (temporary: 59%; no-barrier: 57%)
      • Renters (temporary: 68%; no-barrier: 66%) more than homeowners (temporary: 59%; no-barrier: 55%)
      • Democrats (temporary: 71%; no-barrier: 70%) more than Independents or non-affiliated voters (temporary: 64%; no-barrier: 58%), and both more than Republicans (temporary: 50%; no-barrier: 55%)
    • Liberals (temporary: 71%-72%; no-barrier: 72%-73%) more than moderates (temporary: 62%-65%; no-barrier: 58%-61%), and both more than conservatives (temporary: 46%-49%; no-barrier: 40-43%)
  • When it comes to no-barrier shelters, people with school-aged children are more likely to feel that no-barrier shelters will make a difference than people who don’t have kids (66% vs. 59%).
  • Oregonians with an annual income below $50,000 believe no-barrier shelters will have an impact more than Oregonians making $50,000 or more (57%-60%).

Addressing Issues Related to Houselessness: Market Forces, Government Services, or Government Funding for Private Sector Solutions?

Oregonians are understandably eager for solutions that help people experiencing houselessness off streets and sidewalks. What’s less clear is whom Oregonians think should take the lead. OVBC asked Oregonians which approach they prefer for several of the challenges related to houselessness, including workforce development, housing shortage, housing affordability, mental health, drug addiction and rehabilitation, and cost of living. Respondents were asked if each of these challenges should be addressed by supply and demand in the private sector; local government should help the private sector address these challenges through tax breaks and subsidies; or local government should provide some, or all, direct service (Q36-Q41). Many of these issues are of notable importance to Oregonians. In an open-ended question asking about the most important issues in your community from a September 2022[1] survey by OVBC, houselessness (38%), housing (15%), addiction and drugs (8%), the cost of living (6%), and mental health (4%) were among Oregonian’s top priorities.

Most Oregonians agree there should be at least some government involvement and that market forces alone are not enough, but they’re split as to whether the government should give private sector subsidies and tax breaks or if the government itself should provide services.

Only Republicans and conservatives (both social and economic) prefer to leave any of these houselessness-related challenges entirely to market forces, but even these groups want some government involvement in addressing mental health (Republicans: 39%; conservatives: 40%-41%) and drug addiction and rehabilitation (Republicans: 40%; conservatives: 41%-46%) (Q39,Q40).

  • Republicans (40%) and people who identify as economically conservative (41%) also favor government tax breaks and subsidies to the private sector to help with workforce development, but social conservatives are split evenly between those who prefer a market solution (39%) and those who want the government to help the private sector (39%) (Q36).

Democrats and people who identify as ideologically liberal tend to have a stronger preference for government involvement, either through tax breaks and subsidies or direct provision of services.

Tax Breaks and Subsidies for Private Sector Solutions

Workforce Development and Housing Shortages

Most Oregonians think local government should help the private sector address workforce development (45%) and the housing shortage (40%) through tax breaks or subsidies (Q36,Q37).

When it comes to workforce development, there are few differences in support for an approach that combines the government and private sector (Q36).

  • A majority of homeowners prefer this approach (51%), compared to 39% of renters.
  • People making at least $50,000 per year are more supportive of a cooperative approach compared to those making less than $50,000 (less than $50K: 39%; $50K-100K: 48%; $100K plus: 53%).
  • People with at least some college experience favor the government helping the private sector to a much greater degree than people with a high school education or less (46%-58% compared to 32%).
  • Letting supply and demand address workforce development is more popular among Oregonians than the government addressing this need directly (26% vs. 22%).
    • Compared to renters (23%), homeowners lean more toward a market approach (28%).
    • People with some or no college experience show more support for addressing workforce development through supply and demand than those with a four-year degree (27%-28% vs. 21%).

Similar to workforce development, Oregonians prefer government help the private sector address housing shortages (40%) but, unlike workforce development, there’s a stronger preference for direct government intervention (34%) over strictly supply and demand (20%) (Q37). With workforce development, there is a pretty strong consensus that Oregonians want government and the private sector to work together but when it comes to the housing shortage, we see more disagreement between demographic groups.

  • Homeowners would prefer the government subsidize private sector efforts to address the housing shortage (47%) much more than renters would (32%).
    • Renters would actually prefer direct government action on housing shortages (45%, compared to 25% of homeowners).
  • People who have attended college prefer a combined approach (some college: 39%; 4-year degree: 51%) more than those who have not attended college (31%).
    • Direct government intervention is favored by those with a high school diploma (40%, compared to 29%-33%).
  • Similar to higher levels of formal education, higher levels of income are associated with support for government subsidizing a private sector response ($50k or more: 41%-51%; less than $50K: 34%), and lower annual income is associated with support for direct government services (less than $50K: 40%; $50K or more: 20%-33%).
  • People who do not have school-aged children in their household are more likely than those with children to favor a cooperative response (no kids: 42%; have kids: 32%), but people with children want the government to provide services directly (40%, compared to 32% of those without children).
  • Women are split evenly between a combined response (37%) and direct government action (37%), showing a greater preference for the latter than men do (29%).

Government Should Provide Some, or All, Services

Mental Health and Cost of Living

Oregonians prefer the government provide some or all direct services to address mental health (44%) and cost of living (42%) (Q39,Q41).

  • Direct government intervention is the most popular approach for these challenges for nearly all demographic groups, and not one demographic group gives preference to a supply and demand approach.

When it comes to addressing mental health, Oregonians prefer some government involvement (36%) over leaving it to supply and demand (14%) (Q39).

  • Republicans (39%), conservatives (40%-41%), and some age groups (45%-46%) are the only categories that prefer the government subsidize a private sector response rather than providing services directly.
  • Outside political ideology, there are few differences in the popularity of a direct government response to mental health, with the only difference being greater popularity among those with a four-year degree (48%) compared to those with a high school diploma or less (42%; some college: 43%).

Most Oregonians prefer the government directly intervening to address cost of living (42%), but those who prefer a different approach are evenly split between addressing the issue through supply and demand (25%) and the government helping fund a private sector response (26%) (Q41).

  • Women are more likely than men to support a direct government response (49% vs. 35%). Men would still prefer government intervention over other options, but they show a higher preference for addressing cost of living through supply and demand (30%) than through government subsidies (28%).
  • A majority of renters prefer direct government services (51%), while people who own their homes are nearly evenly split between supply and demand (28%), government assisting the private sector (31%), and government providing services (35%).
  • People with school-aged children are the only other demographic group in which a majority prefer the government to provide services (52%), although those who disagree remain evenly split between supply and demand (21%) and a cooperative approach (21%). Those without children agree but show less support for government services (40%) and slightly more support for supply and demand (26%) and tax breaks and subsidies (27%).
  • Oregonians with at least a four-year degree and those who make over $100K per year would prefer the government give the private sector breaks and subsidies to address cost of living (35%; 36%) rather than provide services directly (30%; 35%).

Lack of Consensus as to the Best Approach

Drug Addiction Treatment and Affordable Housing

There is a lack of consensus as to whether the government should facilitate efforts by the private sector through tax breaks and subsidies, or should step in to provide services when it comes to both drug addiction treatment (37%; 37%) and affordable housing (39%; 40%) (Q40,Q38).

The split over how to handle drug use treatment is consistent across nearly all demographic categories. Other than differences by party affiliation, the only statistically significant difference is by the level of formal education (Q40).

  • College graduates prefer government treatment services (48%) more than people with less formal education (some college: 35%; HS or less: 38%).
  • People who attended college but did not obtain a four-year degree would rather the government subsidize private sector services (45%).

While the statewide results for how housing affordability should be addressed are evenly split between direct government services (37%) and government subsidies and tax breaks to assist the private sector (37%), there are quite a few differences between demographic groups; some of them quite large (Q38).

  • Men and women disagree about how to address housing affordability. Men prefer government tax breaks for the private sector (41%) over direct government intervention (31%), but women prefer direct government services (41%; gov. subsidies: 35%).
  • People with and without school-aged children have a similar disagreement, although to a lesser degree. 44% of people with children prefer the government provide some or all services, while 30% prefer the private sector receive tax breaks or subsidies to help address housing affordability. People who do not have school-aged children choose tax breaks to help the private sector (39%) over direct government services (34%).
  • The biggest disparities in support for direct government action versus government incentivizing the private sector are among factors associated with economic security: homeownership, annual income, and formal education.
    • About half of renters favor government intervention (49%) over tax breaks and subsidies (29%), but for homeowners, the opposite is true: 44% favor tax breaks and subsidies, and only 27% want direct government services.
    • Higher levels of formal education are associated with a greater preference for incentivizing the private sector to address affordable housing. 48% of college grads prefer government subsidies and tax breaks, compared to 37% of people with some college experience, and 27% of those with a high school diploma or less. Conversely, Oregonians who have a high school education or less prefer direct government intervention (44%, compared to 36% with some college, and 29% with a four-year degree).
    • Similar to educational attainment, greater annual income is associated with a greater preference for addressing housing affordability through a cooperative approach. 46% of Oregonians making over $100,000 say the government should subsidize a private sector response (direct government response: 22%), while the same proportion of those making less than $50,000 want the government to provide some or all services (45%; tax breaks and subsidies: 31%). Those making $50,000 to $100,000 fall somewhere in the middle but have a slight preference for a cooperative response (39%; direct government response: 35%).

In Their Own Words: Oregonians Share Their Thoughts About Services to Address Houselessness

When given the opportunity to share additional thoughts and comments about services to address houselessness, Oregonians shared the following (Q47,Q48):

Communities need to work toward common goals, utilizing the common values that we all share. These days there are too many people who are only interested in how issues affect them and they need to be reminded that we’re all in this together. Things like education, healthcare, and healthy, safe environments benefit all of us.”

Woman, age 55-64, Linn County, White

“The cost of housing in PDX has been artificially inflated due to government limitations on the urban growth boundary and difficulties in getting permits to make improvements. Getting the government out of the way will improve almost every sector of society. The government’s role should be limited and geared towards protecting the weak from the strong regardless of political affiliation.”

Woman, age 30-44, Multnomah County, White

“The Government and everyone should do a lot more to help and each and everyone should step up.”

Man, age 45-54, Multnomah County, Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino/x

“I feel that the fastest and most efficient solution is always best. If that means the private sector and government coming together to help the causes, so be it. Two powerful entities coming together is better than one going it alone.”

Man, age 30-44, Multnomah County, Black or African American

“Government should stick to basics like law enforcement, roads and military and should otherwise get out of the way and taxes should be drastically reduced.”

Man, age 45-54, Washington County, Asian

“I think the government should figure a way to help with the cost of living. It doesn’t matter if you have a good-paying job or not seems like the more you make the more everything else goes up like rent bills gasoline and taxes. I also think the rich and wealthy should have to put in more than the unrich and or lower classes.”

Man, age 30-44, Union County, Native American, American Indian, or Alaska Native

“The government needs to step in and [raise] minimum wage, build small housing communities for homeless and low income, provide free childcare, open up emergency shelters for all, mental health and drug treatment centers for all ages and more open parks with free access to water.”

Non-binary or gender non-conforming person, age 30-44, Klamath County, White

“Government should regulate profit margins or subsidize costs so those in poverty can access affordable needs like housing and childcare, while also regulating wages in a way that actually forces net profits back into wages.”

Woman, age 30-44, Klamath County, Prefers not to disclose race/ethnicity

“As someone who worked in the private sector my whole career, I understand that some of these problems are too big for the private sector to address.”

Woman, age 18-29, Deschutes County, White

“When I checked public/private partnerships, I also include non-profits in the equation. Helping the nonprofit sector address some of these problems is essential to their solution. Government is important in helping drive solutions, but all must participate to make solutions sustainable.”

Woman, age 18-29, Multnomah County, White

“In my opinion, everyone should have access to housing, food, utilities, childcare, education, and social services. This is the very least a wealthy society can do for its denizens, and yet most of our resources go to the overly aggressive and bloated military, police, and prison complexes.”

Non-binary or gender non-conforming person, age 30-44, Multnomah County, White

“All too often government intervention is not cost-effective, fails to improve the condition/issue, and continues despite a lack of achievement of its goals. Most are a ‘money pit’ that cannot easily be ended.”

Woman, age 55-64, Douglas County, White

“These issues have become too political party driven because some people believe government should do more and some people believe government should stay out of the way. People cannot work together and compromise to find solutions.”

Woman, age 65-74, Multnomah County, White

Demographic Trends

Identifying What Unites Us, Understanding What Divides Us

Reported below are statistically significant subgroup differences between age groups, BIPOC and white Oregonians, and urban and rural Oregonians. Many of these differences are not major and are presented to inform public education and communications initiatives. 

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample sizes permit reliability.

Generally, younger Oregonians are at least as likely, if not more likely, than older Oregonians to say services will help reduce houselessness, with one interesting exception: mental health treatment (Q12-Q18).

  • Although a strong majority say mental health treatment will have an impact, Oregonians aged 18-29 (73%) and 30-44 (77%) are less likely to say so compared to those aged 45 and older (81%-82%) (Q14). This gap is a reflection of strong enthusiasm among Oregonians aged 45 and up for mental health treatment as a solution, rather than skepticism from younger adults.
  • About three-quarters of people aged 18-29 or 45-54 say workforce training will impact houselessness (74%) while closer to two-thirds of 30-44-year-olds (67%) and those 65 or older (64%-66%) agree. 55-64-year-olds split the difference at 71% (Q12).
  • Confidence that training in skills to help with self-sufficiency will have an impact tends to decrease with age. An identical 68% of Oregonians aged 18-54 say this type of training will help, compared to 66% of 55-64-year-olds, 60% of 65-74-year-olds, and 57% of those 75 and older (Q13).
  • Oregonians 55 and older have more doubt about the efficacy of no-barrier shelters. Fewer than half of those aged 75 and older (47%) think these shelters will have an impact. 55-74-year-olds are a bit more confident (54%-57%), but less so compared to 18-29-year-olds (63%), 45-54-year-olds (63%), and the exceptionally high level of confidence from 30-44-year-olds (69%) (Q18).

Age is not correlated with a difference of opinion on whether substance use treatment or temporary shelter will be impactful in reducing houselessness and there is very strong agreement between age groups that long-term or permanent housing would have an impact, although 30-44-year-olds are especially likely to say so (80% compared to 72%-77%) (Q15,Q16,Q17).

Age is closely tied to a preference for either a direct government response or government tax breaks and subsidies to the private sector to address issues related to houselessness, particularly among the oldest (75+) and youngest (18-29) adults (Q36-Q41).

  • In every instance, Oregonians aged 75 and older favor government assistance to the private sector (38%-59%) over direct government services (8%-44%).
    • Oregonians 65-74 generally agree with their older counterparts (75+), including a split between direct services (65-74: 45%; 75+: 44%) and tax breaks or subsidies (65-74: 44%; 75+: 46%) for mental health treatment that is within the margin of error for both age groups (Q39).
  • The opposite is true of 18-29-year-olds; in every instance, they prefer direct government services (31%-48%) over private sector tax breaks and subsidies (15%-31%), although 18-29-year-olds are evenly split between the two approaches when it comes to workforce development (31%, each).
    • Government services are the preferred approach among 30-44-year-olds as well, and sometimes even more so than for 18-29-year-olds, but for 30-44-year-olds the incentivized private sector approach is also popular, narrowing the gap between the two choices.
    • More 18-29-year-olds favor a market-based approach compared to 30-44-year-olds (Q36-Q41).
  • Oregonians between the ages of 45 and 65 generally land somewhere between the oldest and youngest age groups, but tend to favor government assistance to the private sector like their older peers rather than direct government services (Q36-41).

BIPOC Oregonians and white Oregonians have very similar beliefs about whether or not services will help reduce houselessness, the only difference being greater confidence in the efficacy of mental health treatment and substance use treatment among white Oregonians (Q14,Q15).

  • A majority of BIPOC Oregonians also believe mental health (71%) and substance use (68%) treatments would have an impact, white Oregonians are just even more likely to believe this (81%; 76%).

BIPOC Oregonians tend to favor government services to address issues related to houselessness, except for workforce development, for which they prefer government help for the private sector (39%) (Q36).

  • Even in the case of workforce development, government services are more popular among BIPOC Oregonians (28%) compared to white Oregonians (21%).

White Oregonians agree with BIPOC Oregonians that direct services from the government are best for mental health (white: 44%; BIPOC: 43%) (Q39); substance use treatment (white: 41%; BIPOC: 38%) (Q40); and cost of living (white: 43%; BIPOC: 42%) (Q41) but white Oregonians are more likely than BIPOC to prefer government subsidies to the private sector to address mental health (white: 38%; BIPOC: 30%) and cost of living (white: 27%; BIPOC: 20%).

  • Market solutions for these issues are more popular among BIPOC residents than white residents, especially when it comes to cost of living (BIPOC: 31%; white: 23%) (Q41).

BIPOC Oregonians would like direct government intervention to address housing shortages and housing affordability (38%; 37%) (Q37,Q38).

  • The same percentage of white Oregonians prefer government services for housing affordability (37%), but at least as many want the government to assist the private sector instead (38%, compared to 33% of BIPOC Oregonians) (Q38).
  • Tax breaks and subsidies (42%) to address housing shortages are decidedly more popular than government intervention (33%) among white respondents (compared to 32% and 38% of BIPOC respondents, respectively) (Q37).

Residents in rural areas and urban areas think workforce training, self-sufficiency training, mental health treatment, and drug treatment will be effective in reducing houselessness at similar levels (Q12-Q15). When it comes to feelings about housing and shelter services, there is a gap of ten percentage points or more between rural and urban residents (Q16-18).

  • Rural residents are ten percent less likely to say temporary housing will help reduce houselessness (57%) compared to urban residents (67%) (Q16).
  • Rural residents are more confident that long-term housing will have an impact (68%), but less so compared to especially confident urban residents (81%) (Q17).
  • The widest gap in the perceptions of rural and urban residents is whether no-barrier shelters help reduce houselessness. Just over half of rural residents think these shelters can make a difference (54%) compared to 68% of urban residents (Q18).

People living in rural and urban areas agree that the government should assist the private sector in addressing workforce development (rural: 42%; urban: 46%) (Q36) and that the government should provide some or all services to address mental health (rural: 42%; rural: 44%) (Q39) and cost of living (rural: 39%; urban: 47%), although urban residents are especially partial to direct government intervention for cost of living (Q41).

Rural residents would prefer the government provide tax breaks and subsidies to the private sector to address substance use treatment (39%) (Q40), housing shortages (37%) (Q37), and housing affordability (36%) (Q38) whereas urban residents prefer the government address each of these directly (44%; 42%; 40%).

  • Allowing market forces to address housing shortages and affordability is much more popular among rural residents (shortages: 28%; affordability: 24%) than urban residents (shortages: 14%; affordability: 18%) (Q37,Q38).

Methodology: The online survey consisted of 1,926 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Respondents were contacted by using professionally maintained online panels. In gathering responses, a variety of quality control measures were employed, including questionnaire pre-testing, validation, and real-time monitoring of responses. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by area of the state, gender, age, and education.

Statement of Limitations: Based on a 95% confidence interval, this survey’s margin of error, for the full sample is ±2.23%. Due to rounding or multiple answer questions, response percentages may not add up to 100%.

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (https://oregonvbc.org).

For More Information:


[1] Survey conducted September 13-21, 2022; OVBC; N=1,878