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In the fall of 2012, PCRI and Albina Construction began a project to extensively rehabilitate 10 of PCRI’s affordable rental homes, preserving these valuable assets for our community and helping ensure the stability of their neighborhoods. In September, rehabilitation was completed on the final home and new residents moved in, benefiting from the energy-efficiency, health and durability improvements that characterize the work being completed at each house.
The ten homes are located in eight diverse Portland neighborhoods, with each home near parks, community resources and frequent-service public transportation. New paint, which addressed lead-based paint hazards, makes a dramatic before-and-after comparison. Additional improvements to these and the other nine rehabilitated homes go much more than skin-deep, including improvements to efficiency and indoor health made according to Home Performance with Energy Star standards. Testing was performed upon completion of each renovation to ensure the homes are as healthy, safe, and energy-efficient as anticipated.
Many of the new homes will also benefit from kitchens and bathrooms redesigned for better usability. These newly-rehabilitated rooms will also benefit from cabinetry and flooring chosen not just because they look great, but also for their durability and the absence of unhealthy chemicals used to produce or finish them.
These rehabilitation projects also provide good paying construction jobs as well as training opportunities. As with prior projects, PCRI teamed up with Oregon Tradeswomen at several of the homes, where students developed their carpentry and teamwork skills building fences, installing floors and creating raised planter beds where the new residents can grow their own healthy produce.
One other home, which is also part of the so-called “Big 11” project, will be deconstructed and the existing two-bedroom structure will be replaced with a newly-built Earth Advantage-certified four-bedroom home. This new construction home, which is anticipated to be complete in spring 2014, will feature a wheelchair-accessible main floor bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room, plus three upstairs bedrooms to accommodate a larger family.
Funding for these projects has been provided by Portland Housing Bureau, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and by energy-efficiency incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon.