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Healthy Homes Grant Program

The 2021 Oregon Legislature enacted groundbreaking legislation to help achieve Healthy Homes for low income households (a household having an income equal to or below 80 percent of the earned median family income) and communities impacted by environmental justice factors (a circumstance or condition that impacts a community's ability to achieve a balance of health, economic or environmental benefits and burdens or that impacts at community's ability to participate in public processes). HB 2842 directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to provide grants to a wide array of third-party organizations, which in turn provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners and landlords to repair and rehabilitate dwellings to address climate and other environmental hazards, ensure accessible homes for disabled residents, and make general repairs needed to maintain a safe and healthy home.  

Who is eligible to receive funding?

  • Local governments
  • Local housing authorities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Federally recognized Indian tribes in Oregon  
  • Indian health centers *
  • Coordinated Care Organizations
  • Community Action Agencies
  • Manufactured dwelling park nonprofit cooperatives *
  • Electric (company) utilities *
  • Natural gas utilities

These entities must serve or represent:

  • Communities with high concentration of low-income households
  • Communities impacted by environmental justice factors including but not limited to
    • Areas with above-average concentrations of
      • historically disadvantaged households
      • Residents with low levels of educational attainment
      • Areas with high unemployment
      • High linguistic isolation
      • Low levels of homeownership
      • High rent burden
      • Sensitive populations
    • Areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative public health effects, exposure or environmental degradation
    • Other environmental justice factors as determined by the authority

What repair and rehabilitation actions are covered by the program?

  • Maximize energy efficiency of residences (a dwelling that is intended for occupation by a single family and is occupied by one or more individuals who are members of low-income household as the individual's principal residence, including a site built home, manufactured home, residential trailer, mobile home, condominium unit or unit within multifamily housing)
  • Extend the usable life of residences
  • Improve the health and safety of the occupants of residences including:
    • Radon abatement
    • Lead abatement
    • Mold and mildew abatement
    • Installation of smoke filtration system, an air purification system or ventilation or reduction of pathways for air infiltration
    • Removal of asthma or allergen triggers
    • Structural or safety improvements that increase accessibility or visibility
    • Improvements that make homes more fire resistant
    • Structural or safety improvements that promote seismic resiliency
    • Improvements that reduce the reflection of heat on or around the home, including improvements related to trees vegetation, green roofs or cool roofs *
    • Electrical upgrades that improve the safety of home or support or enable the use of energy efficiency upgrades such as heating or cooling devices. *

      *Added as part of SB 1536

Examples of what the Healthy Homes Grant Program addresses:

  • Radon Exposure in Homes
    • In Oregon, approximately 276 radon-related lung cancer deaths happen each year. Although, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you live in a home with high levels of radon - smoking raises your risk of lung cancer by 10 times. High radon levels have been found in communities across Oregon. 
  • Lead Exposure in Homes
    • The primary source of lead exposure for most Oregon children is from exposure to lead-based paint particles either inside or outside of older homes where lead-based paint may be chipping, or where renovation deposits lead-based paint dust. Lead-based paint can be found in homes built before 1978, with homes built before 1950 posing the greatest risk. The effects of lead poisoning can be permanent. In children, lead can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and kidney and liver damage. Lead is also harmful to adults.  
  • Excessive Heat in Homes
    • In the last five years, Oregon: recorded its hottest years in state history (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020 are all in the top 10 hottest years) and had the lowest snowpack ever on record (2015). Increases in average and extreme temperatures have and are projected to increase the number of heat-related hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality in Homes
    • Oregon had the most severe wildfire seasons in modern history in 2020, with wildfires burning more than 1 million acres and destroying or severely damaging more than 4,000 homes. By comparison, Oregon's next worst fire year, 2015, saw only 56 residences lost to conflagration fires. These fires severely impacted air quality around the state and can lead to increased respiratory illnesses, heart disease and other poor health outcomes in the decades to come.
  • Safety in Homes
    • Unintentional falls are a major cause of injury and death among older adults. Nearly one in three seniors falls each year and 20-30% (2008) of those who fall suffer injuries. Falls are the 10th leading cause of death (2008) among Oregonians ages 65 and older. During 2021 for Oregon residents 65 years old or greater there were 930 fall related deaths, 13,073 fall-related hospitalizations, 3,855 nonfatal hip fracture related falls resulting in a hospitalization and 42,437 emergency department only visits (there was no hospitalization).

OHA's planned steps to develop Healthy Homes Grant Program:

  • Task Force meets to discuss considerations and components of the program in late Summer-Fall 2022
  • Rules Advisory Committee meets to develop Oregon Administrative Rules for the program in Winter-Spring 2023
  • Healthy Homes Grant Program funding distributed to eligible entities in late Summer-Fall 2023

More program information or accessibility support:

Contact: Jordana Leeb, Healthy Homes Program Coordinator, jordana.a.leeb@state.or.us

Announcements:

Please keep an eye out on this website for updates and information related to the program.