Poll: Bellevue residents feel housing market fails to meet needs of community

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A new poll shows people living in Bellevue feel the housing market is failing to meet their needs.

According to the Northwest Progressive Institute, which engaged Change Research to conduct the poll on its behalf — residents said there needs to be a stronger “hands-on” approach.

“We found strong agreement across neighborhoods that a more ‘hands-on’ approach from City Hall is urgently needed to address the housing crisis facing Bellevue and the greater Puget Sound region,” Northwest Progressive Institute executive director Andrew Villeneuve noted.

Some of the concerns were housing affordability — the need to commute — and more housing development.

According to the poll, 68% of those who responded disagreed that the housing market was meeting the needs of the community while 27% agreed.

Other findings showed:

  • 51% said they know someone who works in Bellevue but must commute from far away to be able to afford rent or housing.
  • 46% said that housing affordability in Bellevue is a problem that has impacted them personally — and many took the time to share their stories.
  • 42% said that housing affordability in Bellevue is a problem that is impacting members of their family (children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and other close relatives).
  • 24% said they know a senior who can’t find suitable housing to downsize and remain in the Bellevue community.
  • 65% said that Bellevue should take a stronger “hands-on” approach to housing and adopt more policies that encourage or require the development of homes that people can afford to buy or rent, while 19% said Bellevue should take a “hands-off” approach to housing, reducing regulations and zoning requirements, and let the private market determine what type of housing is built in the city.
  • 78% of residents agreed that Bellevue should require developers constructing new housing in Bellevue to reserve a percentage of units within their projects as affordable housing, like adjoining cities such as Redmond and Kirkland already do. Just 18% expressed disagreement with this idea. 4% were not sure.

“Transportation and housing are two inseparable issues, which is why our organization is proud to have participated in this poll,” said Chris Randels, founder of Complete Streets Bellevue. “These data points reveal what we’ve frequently heard from the community members we serve: many people who work in Bellevue are unable to afford housing here, a reality which leads to longer commutes, more traffic, and more pollution in our region. When everyone who wants to live in Bellevue can find affordable housing that meets their needs within the city, we not only improve the quality of life for thousands of people, but we also create a city where it’s easier for people to get to their day-to-day activities outside of a car.”