Wyden, Merkley: Portland & Habitat for Humanity of Oregon Earn Total of $4 Million in Federal Healthy Homes Grants

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and
Jeff Merkley today announced the city of Portland and Habitat for Humanity of
Oregon have each secured a $2 million federal Healthy Homes Production grant to
make health and safety repairs to local housing as well as support
cost-effective and efficient healthy homebuilding methods in their communities.

“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. I’ll
keep battling for similar resources throughout Oregon.”

“Every Oregonian
deserves the security that comes from having a safe, affordable place to live,”
said Senator Merkley. “This
funding will help ensure more Oregonians of all ages have that foundation to
build a better life, and I’ll keep working to make sure all of us have that

The Healthy
Homes Production grants
from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development are designed to maximize the number of vulnerable residents
protected from housing-related environmental health and safety hazards and the
number of housing units where these hazards are controlled; and to identify
and remediate housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned,
low-income rental and/or owner-occupied housing, especially in units and/or
buildings where families with children, adults 62 years and older, or families
with persons with disabilities reside.

The grants also aim to promote cost-effective and efficient
healthy home methods and approaches that can be replicated and sustained; 
support public education and outreach that furthers the goal of protecting
children and other vulnerable populations from housing-related health and
safety hazards; build local capacity to operate sustainable programs that
will prevent and control housing-related environmental health and safety
hazards in low- and very low-income residences, and develop a professional
workforce that is trained in healthy homes assessment and principles.

The grants can be used to promote integration of the Healthy
Homes Production program with housing rehabilitation, property maintenance,
weatherization, healthy homes initiatives, local lead-based paint hazard
control programs, health and safety programs, and energy efficiency improvement
activities and programs; build and enhance partner resources to develop
the most cost-effective methods for identifying and controlling key
housing-related environmental health and safety hazards.