Portland Receives $1 Million Grant
to Make Health, Safety Improvements in 175 Rental Units Housing
OREGON – January 13, 2011 –The Portland Healthy Homes Program, a collaboration between the Portland Housing Bureau
and the Multnomah County Health Department, has received a $1 million
boost from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Portland’s grant was one of 51 grants totaling
$127 million awarded nationally today under HUD’s Healthy Homes,
and Lead Hazard Reduction grant programs. The awards are expected
to address lead and healthy homes hazards in more than 11,000 homes,
including 175 rental units in Portland.
In addition, the grants will train workers in hazard abatement and
increase public awareness of the risks posed to children by lead and
other home hazards.
the health, and indeed the futures, of our children is a top priority
for HUD. We cannot allow children to be poisoned in their own
homes,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “These
grants will help communities around the nation to protect families from
lead exposure and other significant health and safety hazards.”
The City will use
its $1 million Healthy Homes Production Grant in collaboration with the
Multnomah County Health Department and REACH Community Development
Corporation to complete environmental assessments and healthy home
interventions in 175 housing units. Partners also will conduct outreach
and education at 144 community events.
the program are eager to get to work on conducting a wide range of
activities intended to protect children and families from potentially
dangerous home health and safety hazards in their homes. With this
federal money, we can make a real impact here in East
Portland to ensure that people live in homes that are
healthy and sustainable,” says Housing Commissioner Nick Fish,
who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau.
The population of
low-income households and families of color in East
Portland has grown substantially in the target area due to
gentrification in other areas of the city. One in three residents lives
in East Portland, a traditionally
underserved area where nearly 30% of households earn 50% of median
family income ($35,600 for a family of four). Increasingly racially and
ethnically diverse, East Portland is
home to half of all children under 18, citywide.
The need for repair
funds in East Portland is
well-documented. In 2009, a survey of 356 multi-family properties
in the Lents neighborhood, which is located in the target area, found
that nearly 50% of surveyed properties had identifiable external repair
needs that resulted in a fair or poor rating. The most common problems
identified in the survey were related to roofs, windows, gutters and
downspouts, exterior paint, and trash. The 2002 American Housing Survey
also found that 6% of Portland
housing units reported problems with rats, mice, or other rodents. The
2008 American Community Survey indicated an increase in substandard housing
since 2005, with a 35% increase in the number of units without complete
plumbing or cooking facilitates.
The program is
expected to be rolled out in April. If you own rental property in East Portland, and would like to learn more about
eligibility, contact Andrea
Matthiessen, PHB Neighborhood Housing
Manager, at 503.823.2379.
About the Portland Housing
The mission of the
Portland Housing Bureau is to focus community resources on the unmet
housing needs of the people of Portland.