Town seeks opinions on housing needs

Town officials are urging Oro Valley residents, nonresidents who work in Oro Valley, and owners of businesses within the community to take one of two 10-minute online surveys about the town’s current and future housing needs.

The surveys, conducted by consultant WestGroup Research, are part of the town’s first comprehensive housing study. Surveys opened May 9, and remain available online through Wednesday, May 31. Oro Valley wants to “ensure everyone has an opportunity” to share their views, it said in a release.

“We need all folks to participate in the survey,” said Bayer Vella, the town’s planning manager. “There are so many folks in Oro Valley who we have not reached to learn what their perceptions, needs and wants are. We really want to understand what the community, overall, perceives as housing needs and wants, and expectations.”

To create a statistically valid query, residents are also being surveyed by telephone. As of May 18, 200 of those interviews had been completed, Vella said. “You are most assured a truly random sample of Oro Valley residents through a phone survey. It’s awfully hard to achieve through a web-based survey.”

One online survey is for residents, a second for business owners and their employees. Through May 18, a total of 802 survey responses have been received from residents, and 45 online responses have come in from business owners and employees.

“There’s a very focused desire to know what residents feel,” Vella said. “They’ll be voting on the upcoming general plan. It’s important to make sure we have a group of data we can entirely represent as (from) residents.”

Understanding the needs and wants of employees and business owners “is also incredibly important,” Vella said.

The resident survey asks respondents their length of residency, how old they are, whether they live in the community full-time or part-time, and within which of Oro Valley’s five overlying ZIP codes they may reside.

It asks residents for “level of agreement” responses to questions about more options for single-family homes, apartments, condominiums or townhomes; whether Oro Valley has “a balanced housing mix that includes a wide range of types and prices;” whether it’s important to have financially attainable housing; whether more high-density housing is needed; where high-density housing should be located; and whether apartments “detract from the character of Oro Valley.”

It asks preferred number of stories in an apartment building, and relative taste for single-family homes, townhomes or duplexes, manufactured homes, “tiny” homes, secondary residential units on existing lots, mobile homes and RV parks, apartments, and condominiums.

The survey for business owners and employees asks demography, business size and type, number of employees at a business, what percentage of employees live in Oro Valley, and similar ranking questions regarding housing attainability, balance of housing mix, and the need for more high-density housing. It has a specific section about apartments. And it asks those individuals what types of housing Oro Valley needs.

Individual survey responses will not be shared with other parties.

Oro Valley residents can go to this link to complete the survey:

Business owners and nonresident employees can complete this survey:

When the survey period ends, results “will be analyzed and compared to create a report that will be used to help identify the community’s housing goals and policies to create an actionable plan,” the town said. The survey report, as well as the town’s housing study, will be available on the town’s website later this year.

Anyone with questions, needing assistance, or seeking a paper version of the survey can contact Jessica Hynd at 520-229-4711, or email Hynd at

A sample housing survey question

A housing survey of Oro Valley residents asks their response to this question:

“Many communities face the following housing challenges. Please provide your level of agreement with the following challenges as they apply to Oro Valley:

The choices are:

Children who grow up here cannot afford to live in Oro Valley as adults.

There is a lack of financially attainable housing in Oro Valley for seniors, veterans or persons with disabilities.

There is a lack of financially attainable housing in Oro Valley for teachers, police, first responders, retail or service employees, or entry-level professionals.

There is a lack of adequately sized housing options for multi-generational living, such as living quarters for close relatives or extended family in Oro Valley.

There is a lack of adequately sized housing options for those who are interested in downsizing.

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