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Oregon Healthy Homes Repair Fund

Policy Details

Policy Type: Policy
Jurisdiction: State — Oregon
Status: Passed
Tags: Climate Adaptation & Resilience, Environmental Justice, JEDI, Public Health

Policy Summary

HB 2842 establishes the Healthy Homes Program (HHP) within the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The HHP provides grants to entities providing financial assistance to low income households and landlords. Grant funds are used for repair and rehabilitation, which includes: maximizing energy efficiency, extending the usable life of residences, and improving health and safety.

Eligible entities include local governments, local housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes in the state, coordinated care organization, or regional or statewide nonprofit housing assistance programs. To receive grants, such entities must serve or represent communities with high concentrations of low income households or environmental justice communities (EJCs).

OHA is authorized to designate EJCs, which may include rural, coastal, and tribal communities; areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution; and areas with above-average concentrations of low income households, historically disadvantaged households, high unemployment, high linguistic isolation, low levels of homeownership, high rent burden, sensitive populations or residents with low levels of educational attainment.


Just Transition and Black Liberation principles, processes and practices are not very present in this policy.

Do impacted groups inform the design of legislative solutions around the specific problem?   

Impacted groups do not seem to be represented in the design of this solution. The Interagency Task Force is comprised of Directors or their designees from the following Agencies:

  • Oregon Health Authority
  • Housing and Community Services Department
  • Department of Environmental Quality
  • State Department of Energy
  • Department of Land Conservation and Development
  • Director of Human Services, or designee with expertise in developmental disability services

Additionally, the Governor may appoint up to nine members from eligible entities, individuals with expertise and experience in performing home improvement work, and individuals with lived or professional experience relevant to the Healthy Homes Program. The Governor could prioritize inclusion of impacted groups in the members which the Governor appoints.

Does this policy address needs impacting diverse groups within Black communities (Black femmes, Black LGBTQ+ communities, Black immigrants, people in poverty, differently abled, people impacted by justice system)?  

Yes. Radon, lead, smoke, and allergen abatement improve the health and safety of Black residents. The policy additionally provides subsidies for energy efficiency upgrades and extended useful life of residences. The program is directed toward EJCs at risk of being disproportionately impacted by climate change, ocean acidification or environmental pollution. The Oregon Health Authority is directed to take into consideration socioeconomic and historic disadvantage criteria as well, including sensitive populations and residents with low levels of educational attainment.

Does the proposed policy solution re-distribute power from mainstream institutions to empower the impacted community?   

Yes. The Oregon Health Authority distributes funds to local governments and nonprofits to administer home health programs in impacted communities.

Does this policy provide more decision-making power at the hands of Black communities?  

Not directly. The policy may provide more decision-making power for Black communities, depending on whether local governments and nonprofits are inclusive of Black community voices.

Does the proposed policy undermine extractive economies like capitalism and restore community power around a local and regenerative economy/ primary production?   

Probably not. Currently there are no carve-outs for low-income homeowners, meaning the benefits of the programs will likely flow to landlords with sufficient business sophistication and development capacity to take advantage of these funds. While health and safety and energy efficiency benefits flow to renters, equity flows to the landlord.

Does the proposed policy repair past harm and uphold civil and human rights, health and environmental protections? How and where does this policy support conditions impacting Black communities? 

Yes. The Oregon Health Authority is directed to designate ECJ communities on the basis of disproportionate climate change or environmental pollution impacts. Because Black communities are more likely to experience environmental racism, this policy does tend to repair past environmental harms.

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