Elected officials in Utah County aren't doing enough to solve the valley's housing problem.

That's what 59 percent of county residents queried by Dan Jones & Associates said late last year. Only 28 percent believe officials are taking appropriate steps to alleviate the housing crunch.Jones surveyed 402 people Nov. 13-15. The poll has 5 percent margin of error.

The county, particularly Orem and Provo, have been plagued by a lack of housing for nearly three years.

And in the next few years the situation is "going to get worse rather than better," said Randy Jepperson, a Provo housing rehabilitation specialist. Rapid economic growth is likely to continue in the valley, making it difficult for municipalities to keep up with the demand for both owner-occupied and rental housing.

Despite residents' perceptions that government isn't doing much to address the problem, some federal and local agencies have recently initiated new housing programs. Provo and the Department of Housing and Urban Development both allocated money recently to build new homes and rehabilitate existing dwellings.

But "it takes time for things to happen," Jepperson said.

Meanwhile, residents will have to struggle with finding places to live, especially young and low-income people.

According to the survey, people 18 to 34 were more likely to say government isn't doing enough than were people older than 34. Families making less than $20,000 a year were also more likely to believe the government response has been inadequate. At least 62 percent in each category felt officials were probably or definitely not doing enough.

Also, respondents with at least one household member attending Brigham Young University or Utah Valley Community College believed strongly that elected leaders could do more to solve the housing problem.

(Additional information)

No vacancy in Utah County

The Provo-Orem area may have Money magazine's nod as the best place to live in America, but a lot of people are finding no place to live. Housing is in short supply not only for low-income people, but also for college students, middle-income families and young, single professionals.

For five days next week - Sunday through Thursday - the Deseret News will feature stories on the housing problem and possible solutions.

POLL

Do you believe elected officials are doing enough to solve the housing problem in Utah County?

Definately: 4%

Probably: 24%

Probably Not: 32%

Definately Not: 27%

Don't Know: 14%