Housing
Washington County, Oregon

Housing

A housing unit is a space where Washington County residents live—such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home or trailer, or other forms of living quarters. The people who occupy a housing unit form a household

The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates about Washington County housing each year. Unlike the Census—which is an exact count of people and households every ten years—ACS statistics are estimated based on a representative survey sample. 

This report uses ACS 5-year estimates for Washington County housing data, rather than single-year periods. The 5-year estimates provide greater geographical granularity and accuracy, with a less granular time period. 

Housing Costs

Median monthly housing costs in Washington County is defined by the Census Bureau as including both gross rent and homeowner costs. Housing data in Washington County is reported by the American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Housing is a major household expense and could cost a substantial proportion of individuals and families’ income, especially around major metropolitan areas in the Pacific Northwest. As is the case in the rest of region, affordable housing in Washington County is a significant concern for many.

How have housing costs changed in Washington County?

How do housing costs vary within Washington County?

Cost-Burdened Housing

Nearly a third of housing units are cost-burdened, meaning the resident households spend 30% or more of their income on housing costs.  This figure is higher for renters, and may represent undue burdens for lower and low-income groups. WC Housing Services is continuously working with various public and private partners to create housing options that are affordable to moderate- and low-income households.

Rental Housing

The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates about rental housing in Washington County each year. Gross rent includes both the contract rent and any additional utility and fuel costs.

How does Washington County median rent compare to Oregon and the United States?

How does median rent vary within Washington County?

How does median rent of Washington County vary by unit size?

How much occupied rental housing in Washington County is unaffordable? 

This chart shows counts of rental housing units in Washington County broken down by their rent affordability—that is, the gross rent as a percentage of household income. According to longstanding convention, households that spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing are considered "burdened" by housing costs that they may not be able to afford. While the 30-percent rule of thumb is not a perfect measure of unaffordable housing, it can be a useful indicator for identifying vulnerable households. 

How much do Washington County residents spend on rent in aggregate?

The ACS releases estimated rent cost aggregations based on its survey data. These aggregations are further broken down by the size and composition of the rental structure—for example, stand-alone rental homes, multi-unit apartment complexes, and mobile homes. 

Owner-Occupied Housing

The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates about Washington County's owner-occupied housing each year, including data about the value of residents' homes.

How do Washington County home values compare to those of Oregon and the United States?

How do home values vary within Washington County?

How do homeowner costs vary in Washington County?

The bulk of homeowner costs are mortgages. Other homeowner costs include property taxes, insurance, fuel and utilities, and such additional costs as condominium or mobile home fees.

How much are Washington County homes worth in aggregate?

How has the number of housing units changed over time in Washington County?

How many housing units in Washington County are owner- or renter-occupied? 

How do the size of households and housing units vary by tenure in Washington County?

What do Washington County housing units use for heating fuel? 

The most commonly-used heating sources are utility gas and electricity. The chart below breaks down Washington County housing units by these sources. 

The next chart shows Washington County housing units by less commonly-used heating fuels and other sources. (Note the scale is different from the chart above.)

How many Washington County housing units lack plumbing or kitchens?

The ACS asks questions about the presence of hot and cold running water, a bathtub or shower, a sink with a faucet, a stove or range, and a refrigerator to create statistics about indicators of housing quality. Federal and local governments in Washington County use these estimates to identify areas eligible for housing assistance, rehabilitation loans, and other programs that help people access and afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. Washington County public health officials may also use this information to locate areas in danger of ground water contamination and waterborne diseases. 

While the presence of these facilities in the home has increased over time, there are still areas in Washington County where they are not available. Individual items (hot and cold running water, etc.) are asked about separately on the ACS to allow housing analysts to evaluate individual indicators of housing quality, and determine which items are lacking in particular areas. 

About the Data

Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates. The following tables are used: Occupied and Vacant Units: Table B25002; Housing by Tenure: Table B25003; Household Size: Table B25009; Number of Rooms: Table B25020; Housing and Heating Fuel: Table B25117; Lack of Plumbing: Table B25049; Lack of Kitchens: B25053; Median Gross Rent trend and map: Table B25064; Number of Bedrooms: Table B25031; Rent Affordability: Table B25070; Aggregate Gross Rent: Table B25065; Units in Structure: Table B25066; Median Home Value trend and map: Table B25077; Mortgage Status: Table B25082; Mortgage Status and Value-to-Income Ratio: Table B25100; Median Monthly Housing Costs: Table B25105; Monthly Homeowner Costs by Mortgage Status: Table B25088

This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.