The Salem Housing Needs Assessment is a report prepared by the Department of Planning and Community Development. It is intended to assist the City in identifying housing needs and lay the foundation for an updated Housing Production Plan (HPP) that will identify community goals and strategies for housing production. The report includes a detailed description of the population and housing characteristics of Salem City. Chapter 2 provides a detailed description of Salem City's residents.
The population of Salem is approximately 18,222 residents, and 54 percent of the households are families. Twenty-five percent are two-person households, eight percent are three-person households, and nine percent are four-person households. One-story, four-bedroom, and townhouse-style apartments make up the rest of the city's housing stock. A small number of older adult households live alone. This percentage represents a significant percentage of the Salem population.
The Salem area boasts many universities and higher education institutes. Willamette University and Corban University are the two largest employers in Salem. Though agriculture remains a large part of the economy, in the 1990s, tech manufacturing plants began to move into Salem. Today, Salem is one of the largest food processing centers in Oregon. The city is home to several historic buildings. These buildings include the Historic Grand, the Chemawa Indian School, and the Jason Lee House.
The Salem population is growing slowly. It is now nearly at its 1930s population level of 43353 people. Though it has declined since then, the city's population is slowly growing back up. And, the Salem Oak Tree occupies a quarter-acre on Quaker property. For those who don't know, it is the largest oak tree in America. Its foliage is nearly four feet high, covering the quarter-acre.