Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Habitat for Humanity of Oregon $2 million through its Healthy Homes Production Grant Program to help local Habitat affiliates make critical home repairs across the state. In total, HUD awarded more than $38 million to 23 local governments and nonprofit organizations in 17 states.
Overall, the investment from HUD is intended “to protect families and children by eliminating significant home health and safety hazards in more than 2,600 homes of low-income families.” Habitat for Humanity of Oregon will use the resources to address housing-related hazards, including water damage and leaks in roofing systems, poor ventilation, elevated lead and radon levels, and maintenance to prevent falls and other safety risks. Habitat Oregon partnered with the following affiliates to apply for this critical funding: Junction City/Harrisburg/Monroe, Lincoln County, Newberg Area, Tillamook and West Tuality. More information will be available soon.
Since Habitat’s repair program started in Oregon more than a decade ago, the network has steadily increased its capacity to serve more households, completing more than 400 repairs in the past two years alone. For the individuals and families who partner with Habitat on repairs, the effects can be both immediate and long-lasting. These projects — which range from painting and weatherization to accessibility modifications and major critical services, such as roof replacements or plumbing repairs — improve the health, safety and durability of Oregon homes.
“At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that our communities become stronger as we unite to meet our friends and neighbors’ basic need for a stable, healthy and affordable place to call home,” said Shannon Vilhauer, Executive Director at Habitat Oregon. “In Oregon communities of every size, local Habitat for Humanity affiliates work diligently to provide critical home repairs. Strong local support from suppliers, subcontractors, donors and volunteers has expanded our home repair capacity year over year.
“We are thrilled to attract $2 million in federal HUD Healthy Homes resources to further expand the home improvements that help our friends and neighbors to live in health and safety. Through affordable home repairs, our collective efforts enhance the vibrancy of entire neighborhoods and preserve housing stock for generations to come.”
In a press release celebrating the award, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley highlighted the life-changing potential of healthy, affordable housing.
“Housing that’s affordable must also be safe and free of environmental dangers for Oregonians who deserve to know they’re not somehow exposing themselves to hazards when they walk through their front door,” Wyden said. “These federal investments in our state will help to achieve that essential home safety goal for children, families and older Oregonians.”
Merkley added, “Every Oregonian deserves the security that comes from having a safe, affordable place to live. This funding will help ensure more Oregonians of all ages have that foundation to build a better life.”
The City of Portland also received a $2 million grant. Read a complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded.