As the statistics on other pages show, housing affordability is a critical issue for the people who live and work here in Tillamook County - even people with good paying jobs. We know of severa; managerial level families who haven't been able to accept jobs here or had to wait a long time to find housing they could afford.
In April 2006 NeahCasa organized the first Tillamook County Housing Summit. It was inspiring to see almost 100 people talking about the issues, many of them for the first time. Since then forward movement, particularly in the public sector has been slow, to non-existent and much education is still needed. At least the issue gained visibility for a time.
A poll taken by the Tillamook County Futures Council at the 2007 County Fair showed that 53% considered affordable housing a top priority of concern. This was higher even than concern about Drugs and Alcohol (49%) or Family wage jobs (44%). In fact, according to the report on their website, "Compared to findings at the 2006 County Fair, Tillamook County residents appear significantly more concerned with Affordable Housing today than they did a year ago.... This may be indicative of the attention being paid to Affordable Housing in terms of advocacy and publicity; significantly more prevalent compared to one year ago."
Yet, at the moment the only ones who are building truly affordable housing is the Tillamook County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
As a small rural county on the north Oregon Coast, Tillamook faces the classic challenge of resort communities everywhere: a gap between land prices and what the local workforce can afford to pay for housing.
The central issue is that median incomes are lower in coastal resort areas than in urban areas or other rural areas, but cost of land and housing is higher (often significantly). It is very complicated especially as every data source lists slightly different numbers or uses them in slightly different ways.
However you look at it - and we hope you'll check out the numbers and our ideas - the overall trend is clear: We all have a lot of work to do to maintain our county's livability and community spirit.