Thanks to funds from the Recovery Act, New York expanded its network of weatherization subgrantees. The state has added nine additional subgrantees to its network of 66 community-based organizations that provide energy conservation services on a local level.
New York’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal received slightly more than $100 million for Weatherization Assistance Program in 2009, a significant increase from its previous annual allotment of approximately $60 million. In addition to this increase in annual funding, DHCR also received $394 million in WAP stimulus funding from the Recovery Act.
“New York’s success has been built on a network of sub grantees and state employees who are very experienced, and who care passionately about what they’re doing. The people working in this program are technically proficient, innovative and productive,” says DHCR Commissioner Brian Lawlor.
The Association for Energy Affordability — a subgrantee located in the South Bronx — has been able to create more than 40 jobs and also expand their training center as a result of the increased funding, Executive Director David Hepinstall says.
“We’ve been able to hire trainers, energy auditors, planners and construction management people,” David says. “We’ve really been able to expand our workforce development, too.”
The additional funding also allows New York to take on more challenging projects, such as multi-family housing, rental and other types of affordable housing.
“We’re reaching new populations that are some of the most vulnerable and most in need,” said Daniel Buyer, a DHCR assistant commissioner who oversees the weatherization program.
For the Association for Energy Affordability, this brings many new potential units to weatherize. “A very high number of people in our district have become eligible for weatherization,” says the group’s executive director David Hepinstall. “So many people are interested in participating in the program.”
The state is planning on rolling out an incentives plan for subgrantees sometime this year, which will reward organizations that can stay on schedule.