Building & Urban Form

Building & Urban Form

For lower income homeowners, energy efficiency upgrades and weatherization of a property or rental can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are income qualified services available through Community Action’s Energy Conservation Program and Energy Trust of Oregon’s Savings Within Reach Program. Energy Trust also offers cash incentives to multifamily property owners for the installation of qualified energy efficient equipment that can help lower energy use and reduce operating costs. There are higher numbers of white single-family homeowners than people of color which means the impact of programs is not evenly spread. It is important to prioritize programs to provide a more equitable solution and ensure that outreach is targeted. Energy Trust of Oregon also provides information to renters on how to save money and use less energy. The City of Beaverton will implement a pilot program in 2020 to provide assistance to weatherize low income housing.

While developing and redeveloping neighborhoods, a mix of affordable housing should be included to ensure that the compact and complete neighborhoods are accessible to all income levels and these housing options should all be transit-accessible. In December 2016, the city was awarded $100,000 in funds from Metro to identify strategies to preserve currently unregulated affordable housing in Beaverton, as well as opportunities for developing new affordable housing in order to prevent displacement due to high costs of living. In 2017, the city released a Housing Five Year Action Plan to ensure that the city is facilitating a variety of housing offerings in the city. Further redevelopment of infrastructure should focus on weather prone areas to ensure resiliency for the neighborhoods that are most likely to be affected. In November 2018, Metro’s regional housing bond was passed. The city now has an affordable housing manager to focus on this work and its Voices of Beaverton project aims to humanize the debate on affordable housing and show experiences across the income spectrum.