For Immediate Release - February 11, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION TARGETS $7.06 MILLION IN RECOVERY FUNDS TO REPLACE PUBLIC HOUSING HEATING SYSTEMS

Family developments in 19 communities to get weatherization upgrades

BOSTON - Thursday, February 11, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the state will utilize $7.06 million in federal weatherization recovery funds to replace old, inefficient heating systems with new state-of-the-art units for 19 local public housing authorities across the Commonwealth.

Those upgrades will mean lower energy costs for tenants of family developments in Bedford, Belmont, Brockton, Clinton, Dedham, Easthampton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Greenfield, Marblehead, Mattapoisett, Medford, Methuen, North Andover, North Attleborough, Stoneham, Stoughton, Uxbridge and Westfield. The improvements will also lead to an improved living environment through the delivery of smart, clean, energy-efficient warmth to their homes ( award details below).

"We have invested stimulus funds in our people and our communities, ensuring that they enjoy immediate and long-term economic benefits from the Recovery Act," said Governor Patrick. "These are smart, environmentally sound projects that will create jobs, improve the quality of our affordable housing stock and make life better for the people who live there."

"Investing in energy efficiency capital improvements is vitally important for us to successfully continue making public housing a viable, permanent affordable housing option for low-income families," 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.

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% 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 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 storm or replacement windows.

Today's awards are:

Housing Authority Award Amount and Location

Bedford $ 78,812 Elm Street
Belmont $ 815,720 Belmont Village
Brockton $ 394,629 Washburn Heights and Golden Circle
Clinton $ 81,456 Woodlawn Street and Fitch Road
Dedham $ 702,800 Parker Staples Road
Easthampton $ 122,430 Glad Acres Development
Fitchburg $1,187,415 Green Acres Village
Gardner $ 260,000 Forest Park & Waterford Street
Greenfield $ 442,000 Oak Courts
Marblehead $ 559,680 Barnard Hawkes Ct. & Broughton Rd.
Mattapoisett $ 62,010 Homestead Village
Medford $ 845,350 LaPrise Village
Methuen $ 424,000 JFK Village
North Andover $ 102,625 Veteran's Housing
North Attleborough $ 49,540 Veteran's Houisng (Smith & Falmouth St.)
Stoneham $ 324,360 Calthea Street and Washington Avenue
Stoughton $ 92,295 Porter Terrace & 227 Perry Street
Uxbridge $ 132,110 Veteran's Parkway
Westfield $ 387,960 Colonial Pines Acres

"Making homes more energy efficient today means lower heating bills for years to come. This investment will help those hit hardest by the sluggish economy while improving public housing and creating jobs," said Senator John Kerry.

"Weatherizing public housing units in Bedford, Marblehead and North Andover as well as others across the Commonwealth will help create jobs, increase the quality of our public housing, and help residents keep their energy bills low. I am pleased that communities in our district are benefiting from these federal Recovery Act dollars," said Congressman John F. Tierney.

"Replacing aging and inefficient heating systems will not only create jobs but lower energy costs for families living in affordable housing," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. "I am pleased to see stimulus funds used for improving our public housing."

"Many state-managed public housing developments in Massachusetts are more than 50 years old with outdated and inefficient heating systems that are in dire need of costly replacement," said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. "These recovery funds will go a long way in helping us to improve our public housing facilities and keep them as a valuable community asset and affordable housing resource for low-income families."

"This is great news; these funds will provide some of the much needed capital improvements to our state's public housing stock," said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight. "The new heating systems will be more efficient; which will result in less CO2 emissions and produce significant savings to the housing authority's operational budgets. Most importantly, new jobs will be created, which is our number one priority today."

"One of the many victories of the stimulus has been providing relief to families who've fallen upon hard economic times during the recession," said Representative David P. Linsky, House Chair, Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight. "These improvements will lower energy costs for many families across the state for years to come."

"This Winter has been incredibly cold. Families in Fitchburg are struggling and we certainly appreciate Governor Patrick awarding greater fuel assistance money," said Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg.

"Oak Courts is one of our older public housing facilities that came out of the Chapter 200 Veteran's program and has remained for mixed families use. We are proud to be part of Governor Patrick's focus on weatherization and creating energy efficiency, and look forward to working closely with the Governor in helping to create green communities," said Mayor William F. Martin of Greenfield.

"The City of Medford is grateful to Governor Patrick for his leadership on not only this issue but all issues concerning public housing. These funds will go a long way to stabilize and control our utility costs. This upfront money will be returned tenfold over the coming years, and at the same time improve the quality of life in Medford," said Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford.

"On behalf of the Methuen Housing Authority, I would like to thank the state and federal government for issuing this important heating grant. It will be put to good use by the Housing Authority and the residents that we serve," said Mayor William M. Manzi of Methuen.

"This will be a boost for the efficiency of these public housing units. It will lead to lower carbon consumptions and a better place to live," said Mayor Michael A. Tautznik of Easthampton.

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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