Survey says housing and homelessness are top concerns

PSRC has released findings from a public opinion survey on housing conducted last fall.

Survey respondents in the central Puget Sound region named housing costs and homelessness as the two most important problems facing Washington State today. At 40% and 39%, these issues were chosen about four times more often than traffic and transportation issues. Responses were similar statewide. At the county level, 45% of respondents in King County named housing costs the most important issue, whereas in Pierce County 45% named homelessness.

When asked if they agree with a statement, 79% of central Puget Sound respondents said rents are too high and it costs too much to buy a home. Furthermore, 83% agree their community needs more reasonably priced homes and 78% specified the need for more housing options for people in their communities like seniors, teachers, firefighters, childcare workers, and health care workers.

Role of Government

Most respondents (82%) in the central Puget Sound region agree that government agencies should work together to address the need for housing. With 68% agreeing that government agencies should do more to provide housing not being delivered by the market. That number jumps to 75% in King County. Support for additional taxes to help fund affordable housing was lower, but still present at 44% in the central Puget Sound compared to 38% statewide. King County showed the strongest support for additional taxes at 51% and whereas Kitsap County the least support at 28%.

About the survey

PSRC collaborated with the Department of Commerce to ask people in the region and across the state what they think about housing needs. The statistically valid survey was conducted in 12 Washington counties from October 15 to November 6, 2022. Over 4,300 responses were received.

The goal of the survey was to explore attitudes about the central Puget Sound region and Washington State’s housing needs​, outline housing desires, needs, and priorities of the general public and to provide regional decision makers with input from a broad cross-section of the public.

View the full public opinion survey. Look for more blog posts on this topic throughout the month. Read more about the survey on Crosscut.