Sixes, Oregon resident Janet Bailey and her dog, Brutus, called a pale-yellow trailer with broken steps and plastic stapled to its windows home for five years. “It was an old mobile home. The wind blew through it. It was in fairly bad shape,” she explained. She had no running water or a functional septic system. To relieve herself, she trekked to her son’s home across the way.
While listening to the radio, she heard about the ReHome Oregon program and called NeighborWorks Umpqua. The pilot program replaced and repaired manufactured homes that fell into disrepair over time. Janet connected with Arthur Chaput, NeighborWorks Umpqua Director of Housing Rehabilitation at the time, who helped her throughout the entire process.
“This country girl didn’t think it was difficult,” said Janet. Her home was one of the first to be replaced in 2014 and the entire process took about a year and a half.
In 2015, the per-capita income in Curry County was approximately $18,000 which was 13% below the federal poverty line at approximately $18,000. Around 3,800 families lived in manufactured homes with 30% reporting serious health and safety related problems. Many families warmed their homes with wood, which caused air quality concerns and fire hazards. In addition to the many health hazards, from rodent infestations to mold, mildew and asbestos, residents faced mental and emotional challenges from their living conditions.
The program replaced Janet’s home with a Northwest Energy-Efficient Manufactured Housing Program™ (NEEM) certified home. NEEM is recognized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® program. Her new home features a 4/12 roof pitch, 30-year architectural shingles, full OSB wrap and upgraded insulation values. In addition, she will have LED bulbs throughout the hole and ENERGY STAR certified windows.
In her old home, she fell and broke her hip due to its conditions and visited the hospital about three times a year. Now, in her new home, she’s only visited the hospital once for a similar fall. “I can get from one end of the house to the other without falling,” Janet said. “Everything’s handicap accessible. Everything is very convenient.” The wind used to blow through her old home making her sick, but now she doesn’t get a cold or flu anymore. “It’s a healthier home.”
She also saves on her monthly utilities. In her previous home, she paid around $200 a month in energy bills. Now, her payments are roughly one-third of that. “It’s almost too airtight! I can’t grow any houseplants because it’s so airtight.”