Bend is growing. It always has been.

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Bend is changing! But many homes built 100 years ago are still standing.

Half of all homes now in Bend were built in the past 20 years. The other half were built over the entire preceding century.

The 20-year span before that – from 1979 to 1999 – also saw the number of homes roughly double what came before. The 20 years before that also saw a busy pace of building.

Now, Bend’s population is expected to grow by 50,000 people or roughly fifty percent in the next 20 years.


A new online tool from the City of Bend illustrates information from Bend’s Buildable Land Inventory – showing which lots are vacant and usable. It’s worth a look.

This new site is a “story map” using ArcGIS’s web viewer, so it’s not a formal planning software package like ePlans, which displays application materials for development projects. That also means it does not contain live data – it was last updated in March.

But the Buildable Land Inventory is rich in information and BLIS highlights the different types of residential uses in a fun way.

The Residential Units Dashboard shows how many units of each housing type – single family detached, apartments, etc – were built every year through Bend’s history.

Here’s a series of charts showing all home building in Bend going back to 1902. Remember, Bend wasn’t incorporated until 1904 and Alexander Drake only settled on the banks of the Deschutes in 1900. This is an impressive data set!

The survey of residential unit types also has a map component. Selection tools let a user show homes built by year and type.

The animated map below is taken from that data.

One thing is clear from the animation: Bend has always been growing. Sometimes it comes in fits and starts, but it’s always moved forward. What comes next is up to us.

Current residential units in Bend by year of construction. Data: City of Bend BLIS. Animation: Eric Lint.
This website is just getting started!

What’s an overview of housing development doing on a blog about politics? That last line explains it: What comes next is up to us.

How we decide what comes next involves politics, civics, community engagement. Politics isn’t a dirty word. It’s how we work together and build a better community.

Expect to see a lot more quick blog posts like this.

What’s a topic that you’re curious about? Get in touch and we’ll answer your questions!