Back in 2007, the Cambridge Housing Authority was planning for changes. As Gregory P. Russ, its Executive Director, noted, the goal was to preserve their public housing and make it more energy efficient.
The problem was finding the funds to do what needed to be done.
Along came the stimulus program.
Because the Cambridge Housing Authority was so well prepared with their requirements and cost estimates, they were able to get the funds they needed. In fact the Cambridge Housing Authority’s total stimulus funding of $28 million was the fifth largest
stimulus grant to a Housing Authority in the country.
“We’ve been very fortunate with our stimulus funds,” said Margaret Donnelly Moran, the Housing Authority’s Planning Consultant in the Planning and Development Department.
Most of the funds went to rehabilitate many of the Housing Authority’s properties. For instance, $10 million was provided to do a deep energy retrofit of the LB Johnson Apartment complex. According to Tina Miller, Energy Consultant in the Planning and Development Department at the Cambridge Housing Authority, energy costs will be reduced by 50 percent at the complex after the rehabilitation is complete.
“We haven’t had the means and methods to restore and rejuvenate these systems,” said Donnelly.
Another $1.7 million went to a heating and energy improvement project at the Truman Apartment complex; $10 million went to rehabilitate the Lincoln Way and Jackson Gardens complexes; $2.2 million was provided to the Jackson Square complex for energy and heating improvements; $4.4 million went to Washington Elms and other locations to do a variety of construction projects, site works and development activities; and, $699K was provided to the Authority’s Community Computer Centers to reopen and expand the centers.
“Without the stimulus funds, we couldn’t do these things,” said Donnelly.