For Immediate Release - August 23, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK AWARDS $1.7 MILLION IN RECOVERY FUNDS TO REPLACE PUBLIC HOUSING HEATING SYSTEMS

13 local housing authorities get awards for weatherization upgrades; Projects will create jobs across Massachusetts

BOSTON - Monday, August 23, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the state will target $1,700,033 in federal weatherization assistance recovery funds to replace old, inefficient heating systems in buildings operated by 13 public housing authorities throughout the Commonwealth. These upgrades will create jobs, deliver clean, efficient warmth and lower heating costs for tenants of family public housing developments in Barnstable, Carver, Concord, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Framingham, Franklin, Haverhill, Lowell, Norton, Sandwich, Sudbury and Wrentham.

"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.

"Investing in energy efficiency improvement projects like these pays dividends in the long run by allowing us to keep public housing as a viable, cost-effective, permanent and affordable housing option for low-income families," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, chair of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness.

"This investment will make our state's public housing developments more energy efficient and that means lower heating bills for years to come. It will ensure that thousands of Massachusetts families won't be forced to choose between paying their heating bills and putting food on their tables," said Senator John Kerry.

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.

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 less than 60% 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 an estimated 16,900 homes by the end of March 2012.

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

Today's awards are:
Barnstable Housing Authority: $63,965

Carver Housing Authority: $49,280

Concord Housing Authority: $103,350

Fairhaven Housing Authority: $139,295

Falmouth Housing Authority: $16,855

Framingham Housing Authority: $372,628

Franklin Housing Authority: $77,880

Haverhill Housing Authority: $107,170

Lowell Housing Authority: $447,850

Norton Housing Authority: $105,430

Sandwich Housing Authority: $7,420

Sudbury Housing Authority: $62,010

Wrentham Housing Authority: $146,900

"We have many state-managed public housing developments in Massachusetts that are over 50 years old with heating systems that are in need of replacement," said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. "These recovery funds will help us to replace those systems and improve our public housing facilities."

"These ARRA funds will create needed jobs and lower energy costs. I am pleased to see the Patrick-Murray Administration appropriating these funds wisely as these are exactly the types of projects we should be doing to increase energy efficiency and create jobs," said Senator Marc R. Pacheco.

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 positions 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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