|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Weatherization program boosted by stimulus funding

  • If your home leaves you shivering in the winter and sweltering in the summer, Uncle Sam might have a remedy that could make you more comfortable and save you some money.
    • email print
    • Weatherization program
      Jackson County will get $1.7 million in federal stimulus dollars to weatherize homes for low-income families and seniors.
      Estimated Number of homes that would benefit: 238 locally, 4,600 statewi...
      » Read more
      X
      Weatherization program
      Jackson County will get $1.7 million in federal stimulus dollars to weatherize homes for low-income families and seniors.

      Estimated Number of homes that would benefit: 238 locally, 4,600 statewide

      Duration of program: 3 years

      Number of jobs created: 33 locally, 574 statewide

      Source: Gov. Ted Kulongoski's office

      To get more information about the weatherization program, call 779-6691, extension 360, or go to www.access-inc.org.
  • If your home leaves you shivering in the winter and sweltering in the summer, Uncle Sam might have a remedy that could make you more comfortable and save you some money.
    Jackson County is in line to receive $1.7 million in weatherization dollars as part of a federal stimulus program designed to boost the economy, improve the environment and help low-income families.
    According to estimates from Gov. Ted Kulongoski's office, the three-year program would create 33 new jobs locally and help weatherize 238 homes in the county to reduce energy costs.
    ACCESS Inc., the agency that will manage the program locally, already has been using other federal dollars to improve the efficiency of homes in Jackson County, but there is more need than money presently.
    "We have a tremendous waiting list," said Ed Angeletti, planning director for ACCESS, Inc.
    He said the list includes 1,200 homes. ACCESS gives priority to seniors, the disabled and families with children under the age of 6.
    Statewide, Oregon will receive $34 million for weatherization programs that will improve the energy efficiency of an estimated 4,600 homes. So far, the federal government is sending only about half the money, and the balance will be distributed after measuring the progress agencies make in their programs. Part of the money has already been spent for training and setting up administrative procedures.
    Cindy Dyer, housing and weatherization director for ACCESS, said there is typically a two- to three-year wait to get a home insulated.
    More than 300 homes a year are weatherized each year in Jackson County now, but Dyer expects that number to increase with the extra money.
    The requirements to qualify under the new program are also easier. Previously, a person needed to have an income of 150 percent or less of the poverty level, but that has been bumped to 200 percent. A single person, for example, would need an income of $1,805 a month or less to qualify; a couple would need $2,428 or less.
    Dyer said most people see a 20 to 30 percent reduction in their utility bill, which can sometimes translate into 30 or 40 percent of their disposable income in a given month. For many families, the savings increase their disposable income.
    About 70 percent of the weatherization projects are mobile homes, which get an insulated roof, walls and a floor, said Dyer.
    Renters can qualify for the weatherization dollars, but the landlord needs to approve the insulation work, she said. Anyone applying, needs to take an energy education class.
    Dyer said ACCESS has been setting up the extra administration to handle the federal program and is also looking at local contractors who will do the insulation work.
    "We're mostly getting people back to work," said Dyer. "At the same time, we're benefitting the families that we serve."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.
Reader Reaction

      calendar