The pandemic has led to all of us spending a lot of time at home to help keep our friends, families, and neighbors safe. This has made it extremely clear how important it is for everyone to have a healthy home: when homes are drafty and poorly insulated, heating bills are expensive and children and adults alike are at a high risk of asthma and exposure to cold, mold, and unhealthy outdoor air.
That’s why we are proud to support House Bill 2842, the Oregon Healthy Homes Act, a bipartisan bill which will create a new statewide grant program for low-income home energy retrofits.
The Healthy Homes Act is part of the Clean Energy Opportunity package of bills that are a Priority for a Healthy Oregon for OLCV and the Oregon Conservation Network this legislative session. This package of bills, including 100% Clean Energy for All, Energy Affordability, and Healthy Homes, will lay the foundation for a just transition to a clean energy future, and more resilient and healthier communities in Oregon.
On the morning of April 6th, the House Housing Committee unanimously voted to move HB 2842, the Healthy Homes Act, forward to the Ways & Means Committee!
Here are some of the health benefits for low-income Oregonians that the Healthy Homes program would bring if House Bill 2842 becomes law:
- Fewer sick days for children and adults
- Reduced residential energy bills thanks to better insulated housing
- New jobs created in home energy retrofits
- Better shelter from wildfire smoke and air pollution
- Reduced burden on healthcare systems thanks to better respiratory health
Home energy retrofits can be expensive and renters often don’t have a say in home upgrades. HB 2842 would make grants available to local governments (including tribal governments), housing authorities, nonprofits, and community groups so that low-income homeowners and renters alike receive the many health benefits of a well-insulated home. Improving home energy efficiency is also a vital way to reduce Oregon’s dependence on fossil fuels and help our transition to 100% renewable energy.
Thank you for taking action for healthy homes and environmental justice!