Housing Action Team
We’re working on reducing homelessness, and making housing more sustainable.
SafePlace Transitional Housing Program
SafePlace is being developed to provide transitional housing in Micro Shelters placed on faith-based organization properties. The initial SafePlace site, Safe Camp, got started at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in July 2019. Two other churches joined the program in March 2020.
The goal of SafePlace is to assist individuals, couples, and families in housing transitions by providing a safe and legal environment for temporary housing. Micro Shelters are low-cost, one room, wood framed, heated, portable structures being constructed by local contractors with donated labor. Participants will have access to basic services including porta-potties, garbage pick-up, electricity, and, at some locations, cooking facilities.
SafePlace welcomes, values, and respects unhoused persons as fellow human beings and members of our community. SafePlace participants sign a Code of Conduct and agree to responsibilities to move into and remain in SafePlace housing. They all will be connected with a case worker and/or mentor to help them on their journey to healthy, more stable lives.
Sustainable Housing Workgroup
We are working to reduce Corvallis residential energy and water use, using cutting-edge practices to retrofit existing housing. The Sustainable Housing Workgroup is helping existing Corvallis area residences become sustainable through retrofits to homes. Summary of the most effective steps to retrofit an older home are:
- Conserve energy with thermal barriers under deep insulation
- Upgrade windows (including storm windows), seal leaks in envelope
- Install heat pumps to heat/cool, to heat water, and to dry clothes
- Install solar PV panels or other renewable energy source
- Install other energy efficient appliances such as an induction cooktop
What is Sustainable Housing?
The ultimate in sustainable homes produce more renewable energy than they consume, harvest water from rain, recycle all wastes, and build with nontoxic, locally sourced materials. Even if we do not accomplish this high standard, we encourage homeowners to electrify and conserve energy for increased comfort and savings. Read more.
Why is Sustainable Housing Important?
Sustainable homes help save the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Existing buildings operated with fossil fuels generate at least a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the USA. Newer technologies, like heat pumps, offer solutions. Sustainable homes also save occupants money and are more comfortable.
Heating buildings and water with fossil fuels is rapidly heating our planet. Currently, Oregon’s existing buildings contribute at least a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Even if we improve building codes, without retrofits most of today’s buildings will still emit greenhouse gases in 2050. Optimum insulation and electrification of existing buildings –powered by renewable energy like solar or wind– would significantly slow the rate our planet is warming. (OR Global Warming Commission 2020.)
Further, as our planet warms, we will face water shortages so buildings that harvest rain and reuse gray water will be increasingly desirable. Owners of sustainable homes have lower utility costs, saving money long into the future. They are also more comfortable in their homes. Learn more.
Housing Action Team: Second Monday of each month, 12 noon–1 pm
• Sustainable Housing Workgroup: Third Tuesday of each month, 2 –3:30pm
• Safe Place Transitional Housing Program: Dates and times vary
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Housing vision, goals, strategies, and actions, from “Community Sustainability: A Framework for Action.”