The HIA examined the potential health impacts on Curry County, Oregon, residents’ health of upgraded manufactured housing and recommended ways to tailor the housing stock improvements pilot program to meet health needs.
The HIA found that replacing older manufactured homes could significantly boost health by improving indoor air quality, reducing falls, and contributing to positive emotional well-being. Fully repairing homes and ensuring that replacement homes adhere to improved ventilation specifications will help to maximize positive health effects. The recommendations include design changes for new homes to address residents’ needs as they age, such as building 30-inch doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs; hiring local workers as much as possible; raising homeowners’ awareness of the rehabilitation pilot and of its risks; and conducting ongoing monitoring of access to and eligibility for the program.
This HIA was funded by the Healthy Community Design Initiative of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a grant administered by the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Impact Assessment Program.
As a result of the HIA’s recommendations, a coalition of state and local organizations is proceeding with the pilot project. Almost 3,000 Curry County residents may be eligible for financial assistance to recycle their current manufactured home, and builders are using new design standards that will allow aging residents to remain in their homes longer.
A southern Oregon housing developer, NeighborWorks Umpqua, included the HIA findings when applying for a grant to replace 25 manufactured homes in Curry County and was awarded a $450,000 grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.