Chris Barry and Jeffrey Simon
For many of the people living in affordable housing projects managed by the Brockton Housing Authority, winters were getting cold.

"Most of the boilers and furnaces were far past their life expectancy," said Chris Barry, Associate director of modernization for the Housing Authority.

Recovery Act Impact: Weatherization in MA

  • Weatherization program: $122.1 million

  • 8,445 homes weatherized in MA from September 2009 through March 2011

  • 1,851 public housing units weatherized in MA from September 2009 through March 2011

  • 25 new weatherization contracting companies formed

  • Over 150 weatherization contractors kept busy

A stimulus award of $397K has changed all that. The funds enabled the Housing Authority to replace 43 furnaces at its Washburn Heights Housing project and 15 boilers at the Golden Circle Housing project.

"In New England, winters can be really tough and the furnaces and boilers were old and unreliable," said Frank Heinz, the Director of Modernization and Housing Development for the Brockton Housing Authority.

New Furnace at Washburn Heights
"There used to be a lot of breakdowns but the new systems eliminated that problem. People now have confidence facing the winter. They don't have to spend the winter waiting for the repairman."

The Brockton Housing Authority manages a total of 1,961 housing units. According to Heinz, the Authority was in the process of planning a large scale modernization project on Washburn Heights when the recession hit. "We were looking at a mixed finance project but with the drop in the market and the economy, everybody took a step back and it was put on hold," said Heinz. But, he added, the mechanical elements, specifically the furnaces that the stimulus award enabled them to replace, were a huge portion of that project.

Jeffrey Simon with Chris Barry and Richard Sergi
Heinz also noted that the new furnaces and boilers are much more energy efficient which, he said "is a good thing for us and for the Commonwealth. The energy efficiency ratings are vastly improved and we are looking at seeing significant savings. We always try to be as green as possible. It works for us and for the taxpayers."