NAYA: Evaluation of an Anti-Displacement Strategy

Child, Youth & Family /Housing & Homelessness

Exploring the effects of critical home repairs on health and stability outcomes

The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) offers a Critical Home Repair, Weatherization, and Anti-Displacement Program that provides no-cost home repairs and energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners in Portland, Oregon. We evaluated the program’s effects on participants and their families.

Impact

The study found that the safety-related repairs and upgrades enhanced both the physical and mental health of participants and increased the likelihood of families remaining in their homes. The findings support the growing body of research suggesting that multifaceted home interventions produce more beneficial and lasting outcomes than those targeting a narrow range of concerns. HSRI also helped enhance NAYA’s capacity to conduct its own evaluations of the program for future funding opportunities.

Services
  • Evaluation
  • Technical Assistance and Training
  • Data Collection and Analysis

Addressing Portland’s housing crisis

NAYA’s Critical Home Repair, Weatherization, and Anti-Displacement Program was initially conceptualized in 2014 as a weatherization and anti-displacement project for homeowners in the Cully neighborhood, one of Portland’s most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods and an area particularly susceptible to gentrification amid Portland’s housing crisis. But project staff soon found that housing conditions for low-income homeowners were significantly worse than expected; black mold, failing roofs, little to no heat, and other serious issues emerged. The project was broadened to include critical home repairs, as most participants needed help addressing these critical issues before weatherization could occur.

To better understand the impact of the program, which had also expanded to serve homeowners across the Portland metro area, HSRI worked with NAYA to conduct an evaluation, examining the program through an array of primary and secondary data. 

Collecting and analyzing the data

Our research team used a mixed methods approach, gathering qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of program processes and participant outcomes:

  • In-person meetings with program administrators
  • Document review
  • Literature review
  • In-depth interviews with program participants
  • Focus groups with program participants
  • Participant surveys
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Results

Study findings suggest that the program resulted in enhanced safety, improved health, and increased stability for participating homeowners. These results are interconnected, with repairs and weatherization improving safety and health outcomes – ultimately increasing the likelihood of participants remaining in their homes.

  • 62% of participants felt safer in their homes
  • 58% of participants were better able to maintain a comfortable temperature in their home
  • 79% of participants had better peace of mind about their home’s condition
  • 66% of participants reported an improved quality of life
  • 79% of participants felt the repairs helped them to remain in their homes

Participants noted that prior to the upgrades, their living conditions had exacerbated chronic health conditions (cold homes increasing arthritic symptoms; the presence of mold exacerbating asthma, allergy-like symptoms, and illnesses).

The NAYA Critical Repair Program also had longer-term impacts on homeowner relationships and well-being. Homeowners described enhanced relationships with their family and neighbors as their homes were safer and more welcoming after the repairs. Even several months after the repairs had been completed, participants noted more regular communication and less isolation – both protective factors against poor health.

Client(s):

Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA)

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