For Immediate Release - October 28, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK TARGETS $2,513,973 IN RECOVERY FUNDS TO SUPPORT PUBLIC HOUSING HEATING SYSTEM REPLACEMENT WORK

Jobs generated as 15 housing authorities receive weatherization funds

BOSTON - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the state will target $2,513,973 in federal weatherization recovery funds to replace old, inefficient heating systems with new state-of-the-art units for public housing authorities in Chicopee, Hopkinton, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mansfield, Middleboro, Provincetown, Randolph, Reading, Spencer, Wakefield, Whitman, Winchendon, Winchester and Woburn.

Those heating system upgrade projects will generate jobs, and foster lower energy costs for public housing tenants while improving their living environment through the delivery of smart, clean, energy-efficient warmth.

"Today's awards will not only help keep our environment clean, but these heating system upgrades will boost business, put people to work and improve conditions for families living in state public housing," said Governor Patrick.

"To continue making public housing a viable, permanent affordable housing option for low-income families, elders and the disabled, these energy efficiency capital improvement projects are vitally important to us," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, chairman of the state's Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness.

Today's announcement is part of $25 million set aside for public housing energy upgrades out of $122 million in stimulus funds awarded to Massachusetts for weatherization services to low-income homes. Those American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds come to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and are administered for DHCD by a statewide network of local non-profit agencies.

"This important funding for weatherization improves energy efficiency, create jobs, and makes our state's public housing more sustainable," said Congressman Barney Frank.

"Replacing old and inefficient heating systems in public housing with cleaner and greener systems makes sense. It will save taxpayer dollars while it helps the environment and creates jobs," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. "I am pleased to see these funds being used to upgrade these older heating systems."

"This funding will allow housing authorities in the First District to make important improvements to the energy efficiency of their buildings. Investments made in energy efficiency save taxpayer money down the line and create better living conditions for those residing in public housing," said Congressman John Olver.

DOE program requirements call for the $25 million in public housing funds to be used for weatherization of housing where tenants pay for their own heat and earn under 60 percent of area median income. The balance of program funds will provide eligible private households with full-scale home energy conservation services. In total, it is estimated that the entire $122 million will be used to weatherize approximately 16,900 homes over the next three years.

Weatherization improvements can include air sealing and weather stripping; repairs or replacement of expired heating systems; attic, wall and floor insulation; and installation of storm or replacement windows.

With this latest award announcement, Massachusetts has now committed more than $19.5 million of the public housing set aside to fund heating system replacements in 62 local housing authorities across the Commonwealth.

Today's awards are:

  • Chicopee Housing Authority: $680,963
  • Hopkinton Housing Authority: $243,635
  • Leominster Housing Authority: $227,900
  • Lunenburg Housing Authority: $ 34,943
  • Mansfield Housing Authority: $259,932
  • Middleboro Housing Authority: $160,094
  • Provincetown Housing Authority: $ 40,950
  • Randolph Housing Authority: $174,117
  • Reading Housing Authority: $ 55,120
  • Spencer Housing Authority: $ 63,600
  • Wakefield Housing Authority: $224,228
  • Whitman Housing Authority: $ 48,230
  • Winchendon Housing Authority: $ 50,525
  • Winchester Housing Authority: $ 41,340
  • Woburn Housing Authority: $208,396

"We have many state-managed public housing developments in Massachusetts which are more than 50 years old, and are in dire need of costly heating system upgrades," said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. "This latest round of recovery funds will go a long way in helping us to continue improving the condition of public housing and keeping it as a valuable housing resource for low-income families."

Housing and economic development investments are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

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