Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Housing Needs Preferences Survey – PCC Summary

In January 2022, the *Coalition to House Students surveyed students from three community colleges and a university to better understand student needs with respect to affordable college student housing.  This summary is based on the responses from 885 PCC students who indicated they were not home owners and responded to all survey items. 

Building and Unit Preferences

  • Most students preferred a one bedroom (44% of respondents) or two bedroom (30%) unit.
  • The majority did not want to live in a building in which they had to share a kitchen (no= 67%) or bathroom (no = 81%) with other residents.
  • Students indicated the following are important considerations when looking for an apartment:  Washer/dryer hookups in unit (important to 72% of respondents), Parking (68%), Utilities included (54%), Pet friendly (54%), Air conditioning (51%) and Dishwasher (50%).

Transportation and Access

  • Most students (70% of respondents) rely on a car as their main source of transportation.
  • Bus (10%) or Train/MAX (8%) were identified as next most common main transportation source.
  • Living within walking distance to one’s primary campus was moderately to extremely important to almost one-half of respondents although not important to one-third of students.

Number of Dependents

  • Most respondents (71%) do not have a spouse, partner, or child(ren) living with them.
  • A greater percentage of woman have dependents (33%) living with them than did men (25%).

Interpretation Limitations

Respondents encountered a lack of discrete answer choices to the key question “How much rent could you afford to pay each month?”  For example, a student able to pay a $750 monthly rent could select $500 – $750 or $750-$1,000.  Additionally, students who indicated that they do not currently pay rent, may or not be able to afford some level of monthly rent.

The survey was administered at a time when the vast majority of students were attending PCC in a remote capacity.  It is unknown if importance ratings for living within walking distance of campus would differ if more students are attending on campus classes.

Contact Laura.Massey@pcc.edu for the complete PCC Summary including respondent demographics

*The Coalition to House Students includes representatives from Portland Community College, Portland State University, Mt. Hood Community College, Clackamas Community College and College Housing Northwest, a non-profit housing provider