Since 2010, Lane County (OR) leaders in health, economic development, higher education, transportation, affordable housing, water and energy, and social equity have being working to integrate plans and strategies through the Lane Livability Consortium (LLC). The objective of the LLC is to improve the livability and well-being of Lane County residents through this coordination. In an effort to build upon and continue the partnerships developed through the LLC process, Lane County Public Health (LCPH) applied for and received a mini-HIA grant from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in January 2014 to conduct a pilot rapid Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on affordable housing policy in Lane County.
Staff from LCPH partnered with staff from Eugene’s Planning and Development Department (PDD) and the Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) to conduct this HIA. Based on input from local housing and health stakeholders provided at an initial HIA screening workshop, and on a policy scan of upcoming affordable housing policy development efforts, the HIA team (LCPH, OPHI, PDD) decided to focus the HIA on assessing the direct and indirect impacts of the Affordable Housing Strategic Plan, one of two strategic plans contained in the Eugene-Springfield 2010 Consolidated Plan, on the health of children and youth (age 0-17) in order to inform the next Eugene-Springfield Consolidated Plan that will be adopted in 2015. The HIA produced a set of findings and recommendations designed to inform city staff and local stakeholders as they work to update the Consolidated Plan in late 2014 and early 2015.