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Visnauskas announces $7 million expansion of state weatherization program

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Fri, Sep 6th 2019 04:35 pm

Weatherization preservation plus initiative designed to reduce costs to low-income renters; preserves & protects rent-subsidized multifamily housing

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas announced a $7 million expansion of the state’s weatherization assistance program to help income-eligible homeowners and renters reduce heating and cooling costs through energy-conservation measures, and address health and safety issues in their homes.

The new initiative, weatherization preservation plus, will focus on rental housing that receives federal or state rental assistance. Eligible developments may receive funds to improve the property’s health and safety and energy efficiency, and to extend affordability requirements.

Visnauskas said, “By expanding the largest residential energy conservation program in the country, we are creating new opportunities to invest in home improvements that will reduce energy consumption and lower costs to owners and renters. Our new weatherization initiative will serve as a model for how we can preserve and protect multi-family properties and sustain affordability for lower-income residents.”

Funding for the weatherization preservation plus initiative will be disbursed as detailed in a notice of funding availability. Approved New York state weatherization assistance providers have until Oct. 15 to apply for funding to make energy savings improvements at specific multi-family properties that are receiving rental assistance.

Projects financed by the initiative will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 per unit, not to exceed $1.5 million per property, to fund work that includes:

•Health and Safety – Repairs that are necessary to protect the health and safety of the tenants including electrical, mechanical or HVAC repairs, elevator repairs, roof replacement and other buildingwide systems will be priority projects.

•Weatherization – Improvements identified through the WAP energy audit such as insulation, air sealing, mechanical upgrades, etc., will receive secondary priority.

•Deep retrofit – Efficiency measures that do not appear in the energy audit, and would not be eligible under federal WAP rules, but will help the state reduce its carbon footprint, including solar, geothermal, and others energy-saving measures will be permitted where funding is available.

For more information about the weatherization program, visit HCR’s website.

The weatherization assistance program is the largest residential energy conservation program in the country. Since the program launched more than 40 years ago, nearly 700,000 housing units in New York have been made more energy-efficient due to investment of weatherization program funds. WAP assists income-eligible homeowners and renters by reducing heating and cooling costs through energy-conservation measures, while also addressing health and safety issues in their homes.

WAP services are prioritized to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool homes, supply hot water and provide lighting, thus reducing energy consumption while minimizing the impact of higher fuel costs on low-income families now and in the future.

Both privately owned single-family and multi-family buildings are assisted. The WAP also helps reduce energy costs of affordable housing developed or supervised by HCR. Homeowners, affordable housing developers, property managers, and other housing and community development agencies are encouraged to contact their local NYS WAP provider for more information.

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