photo: mary reynolds
Mary Reynolds watches her three grandchildren every day after school, and in the winter it would get pretty cold in the unit she rents on Linnet Place in Gloucester.

"The house needed to be weatherized," says Reynolds. "It gets really cold in here. The windows and doors are bad and we would get nothing but cold air. When it gets really cold, the air condenses inside the house so we can't see out our windows."

Mary's landlord, a recent widow who lives in the downstairs unit, could not afford to weatherize the house. She applied for assistance through Action, Inc., the Gloucester-based social services organization that received $8.5 million in Recovery Act funds. With the Recovery funding, Action will be able to serve more than 1,182 households throughout 29 Massachusetts communities over the next three years.

After an energy audit was done on the house, it was determined that the house needed air-sealing, insulation, and window replacement -- an estimated $6,900 worth of energy services that will be provided thanks to Action's Recovery Act award. The weatherization improvements will save the landlord at least 30 percent on her energy bills.

"It was wonderful," Reynolds says of the day the weatherization project on the house started. "They blew insulation into the siding, they covered the pipes in the cellar."

Reynolds says measurements were also taken on her windows and doors so

Mary Reynolds' House
she can get new ones. "They came up here and they could see the hot air just pouring out of my apartment," says Reynolds of that day, when State Senator Bruce Tarr and other local leaders also came to visit. "They were appalled."

Reynolds thinks the Recovery funding is "wonderful. They are trying to help people - and it's going to be so much warmer here. I am very grateful that this will be taken care of. This is not something my landlord can do. It felt like a prayer being answered."