Portland home with solar panels on roof
credit to Meredith Connolly
Urge Your Legislators to Invest in Healthy Homes

The Oregon legislature kicked off another legislative session this week with a top focus on addressing the state’s housing challenges. Solving Oregon’s housing crisis is about more than just building new housing. It’s about reducing the cost of essential home repairs and energy efficiency so that low-income families can affordably live in the homes they already have. As part of our climate agenda this session, Climate Solutions is calling on you to help us fight for funding to keep seniors, low-income, and frontline families in their homes.

Did you know that about 49% of homes and apartments Oregonians live in were built before 1980? This housing is energy inefficient and in need of essential repairs such as mold or lead abatement. The Healthy Homes Grant Program covers essential home repairs not typically funded by other state or federal programs, and it’s likely to run out by 2025. Frontline communities, including people of color, low-income, rural, and disabled communities are at the highest risk.

That's why we need to continue funding the Healthy Homes Grant Program.

Click here to Urge Your Legislator to Fund Healthy Homes

Homes are our first line of defense against climate disasters like extreme heat and wildfire smoke. Frontline communities bear the brunt of the climate crisis with higher costs for housing and utilities, worse air quality, and worse health outcomes. We need to make sure they have access to affordable repairs, healthy homes, and lower utility bills.

While the state invested some initial funding in this program, it will run out before the next budget cycle because there is so much need across the state. The Healthy Homes program is currently distributing $15 million of one-time funding for community groups who do home repairs across the whole state. For context, the Portland Clean Energy Fund has dedicated at least $350 million over the next 5 years for similar repairs in the city limits. A legislative investment of $15 million in 2024 will be crucial to support this program that helps keep rural and low-income Oregonians in their homes.

We’re in a housing crisis and a climate crisis. Oregon must tackle both. Healthy Homes will help people on the frontlines stay housed by lowering the cost of living, improving health and resilience, and reducing climate pollution.

Click here to Urge Your Legislator to Fund Healthy Homes

Author Bio

Meredith Connolly

Oregon Director, Climate Solutions

Meredith brings over a decade of climate policy experience to her work accelerating Oregon’s transition to a clean energy economy. She advocates for innovative and equitable policy solutions to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs across the state. Currently, Meredith leads a team diligently working to electrify everything from cars, trucks, and buses to homes and buildings, and power it all with 100% clean electricity.

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Meredith was a Climate and Energy Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. At NRDC, she advanced renewable energy policies in the U.S. and internationally. She also implemented programs to protect public health and improve climate resilience to heat waves and air pollution in India’s growing cities. Before NRDC, Meredith practiced law in the private sector.

Meredith is a member of the Oregon and California State Bar Associations. She holds a JD from Boston College Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and French from Santa Clara University. In her free time, Meredith enjoys exploring her incredible home state of Oregon with her family and rooting too loudly for the Portland Thorns and Timbers.