This article appeared onThursday, Feb. 12, 2009, on msnbc.com.
WASHINGTON, DC - NeighborWorks® America today announced that as part of its goal to advance energy efficiency and environmental quality of affordable residential housing it invested $230,000 in targeted residential rehabilitation projects in 12 states. The rehabilitation efforts supported by the NeighborWorks investment will create higher level energy and water conservation retrofitting for 500 owner-occupied homes thereby helping these households achieve better savings. The investments were made to 15 local non-profit organizations that are chartered members of the NeighborWorks network.
In the last 6 months, NeighborWorks America has awarded over $1.7 million in green grants to sixty-eight local non-profits. These awards are supported by a $750,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation to NeighborWorks America. The grants supported new construction, housing rehabilitation, energy management for rental properties, community projects, and sustainability audits for non-profit organizations.
“Despite the recent decline in energy prices, home heating and cooling remain a major cost for low- and moderate-income homeowner and renters,” said Tom Deyo, NeighborWorks senior advisor for Green Initiatives. “These investments are aimed at improving the weather seal of a home, adding insulation, sealing ductwork, adding programmable thermostats, and retrofitting or installing more efficient heating and cooling systems — all with an intent to reduce the demand for heating in winter and cooling in summer.”
Deyo added that weatherization efforts should be considered the first stage of a larger home energy efficiency and water conservation program that homeowners and owners of rental housing should undertake in order to save money and reduce their use of energy and water.
“Weatherization is absolutely an effective way for homeowners to reduce their energy expenses,” said Dale Prunoske, Director, Housing Rehabilitation Programs, at PathStone Corporation, a Rochester, NY-based chartered member of the NeighborWorks network. “Large studies on weatherization show that a family can save as much as $413 per year in utility costs. Our own project experience indicates that in our pre-1950 housing stock in upstate New York we can typically cut energy use by approximately 50% through insulation and air sealing — items that offer the biggest bang for the buck. For low- and moderate-income families that amount of savings is significant.”
The recent investments are a part of NeighborWorks America’s broader goal inside the NeighborWorks network to increase the “green” component of existing residential housing, and build more energy efficient housing going forward. A number of NeighborWorks network members have been recognized by national and international organizations for their leading-edge green developments and business practices. Information on these organizations is available at www.nw.org/green.
“We have ambitious goals for ourselves,” said Deyo, “and we hope that we can show what can be done to reduce the use of energy in affordable housing without sacrificing quality, livability and aesthetics.”
About NeighborWorks® America
NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. Since 1991, we have assisted nearly 1.2 million low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks network — more than 230 community development organizations working in more than 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $15 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals. www.nw.org.
Contact: Doug Robinson 202.220.2360
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