Case Study: Cully Weatherization 2.0

The Challenge: Advance Equity and Housing Stability

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.

Our Results

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)

 

Our Strategy

Low-Cost Home Repair Help

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.

Design With Equity Lens

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.

Deploy Workforce Training

Enhabit supported employers in developing the skilled workforce needed to meet the growing demand for home energy upgrades. In collaboration with Worksystems Partnership, resources and grant funding were combined to help more workers access critical training needed for the growing home performance and energy efficiency arena. In addition, Enhabit convened stakeholders in the home performance field to define and establish the first Bureau of Labor and Industries-approved Home Retrofit Apprenticeship Program.

Innovations

  • 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:

  • Explore how negative impacts are mitigated and positive impacts enhanced
  • Deploy strategies for culturally-responsive partnerships
  • Build capacity of community organizations
  • Prioritize minority and women-owned businesses

Funding

Portland Housing Bureau, Northwest Natural, Multnomah County, Meyer Memorial Trust

Key Partners

Community Energy Project

Faison Energy Solutions

Good Energy Retrofit

Habitat for Humanity

Home Energy Life Performance

Metropolitan Alliance for the Common Good

Multnomah County

Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

Portland Housing Bureau