Like many low-income and communities of color across the country, the Cully neighborhood in northeast Portland lacked amenities such as an ample supply of affordable, healthy and stable housing. Investment in Cully’s parks, sidewalks, roads, other infrastructure, family-oriented businesses and other amenities has lagged behind the rest of the City, keeping the cost of housing down, and much of the housing in disrepair. In 2014, Enhabit joined a diverse group of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and minority and women-owned contractors to provide home repair and no-to-low-cost energy efficiency upgrades to 100 low income homeowners. A strong commitment to prevent involuntary displacement drives the partnership.
40% homeowners of color, 70% elderly
Public private project partners plan to replicate throughout the region
All work completed by MSWBE firms
Program served 100% low-income homeowners (>$30K annual family income)
By successfully braiding together available public resources and utility incentives, we were able to conduct deep, low-cost repairs for homeowners with income below $30,000. Working with local Enhabit trade allies, repairs included fixing leaky roofs and windows, removing dangerous mold and mildew, installing attic insulation, sealing cracks, upgrading furnaces and more.
Energy costs for a typical home in the Portland-metro area are $1,800 per year. That’s a substantial expense, especially for low-income households. Homes that are energy efficient cost less to operate, making these homes more affordable over the long term. With an average 30% of reduced energy waste, these homeowners have greater buying power, and the ability to stay in their homes.
By working with low and moderate income homeowners, with a focus on communities of color, the project intends that energy and home repair upgrades will improve the habitability of the home, improve health outcomes in populations that often experience high health disparities, provide housing stability and potentially strengthen a sense of community and increased social cohesion to encourage people to remain in the neighborhood.
Braiding resources: A multi-partner, collaborative approach that brings together public and private investment to low income populations.
Integrated home upgrades: Expanded traditional ‘critical repair’ work to include deep energy efficiency retrofits to reduce utility cost and improve comfort and health.
Equity as a guiding principle:
Portland Housing Bureau, Northwest Natural, Multnomah County, Meyer Memorial Trust
Enhabit formed a new partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) and municipal utility Seattle City Light to manage the city’s energy efficiency upgrade program, Community Power Works. Similar to Clean Energy Works, Community Power Works offers a “one-stop service” to deliver comprehensive energy efficiency improvements to homeowners. Read more
Clean Energy Works (CEW) launched as a City of Portland pilot program, in close partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, CRAFT3 and a diverse group of community partners and leaders—advancing deep home energy retrofits as a pathway for job creation, local economic investment and dramatic energy savings for homeowners. Read more
Enhabit designed an innovative framework when implementing workforce development policies – a ‘High Road’ approach focused on quality training, as well as equitable access and opportunities to good jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits. Read more
The City of Portland, Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and FEMA drafted Enhabit to design a pilot project to use federal emergency monies to seismically retrofit several dozen homes – leveraging the customer engagement and contractor infrastructure established with Clean Energy Works (an Enhabit program). Read more