County Accepts Weatherization Grant

At its Aug. 1, 2012 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners authorized the acceptance of $289,800 in additional federal funds for the county’s weatherization program. The funds will allow the county to weatherized 26 housing units for low-income residents.

The money is available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the federal stimulus program. It’s a redistribution of funding that had previously been awarded to other communities but was not used. In total since 2009, Washtenaw County has received $5,053,338 in ARRA funding for its weatherization program, and has served 721 housing units. The program is administered through the office of community and economic development, a joint county/city of Ann Arbor department.

According to a staff memo, weatherization services include “outreach and intake, pre-inspection of homes, air leakage testing, health and safety evaluations, furnace assessments, refrigerator efficiency testing, post-inspection of the completed work and consumer education on how to keep one’s home weatherized and energy efficient. Licensed and approved contractors provide procurement and installation of weatherization materials including attic and wall insulation, air sealing, window repairs, furnace tune-ups and high efficiency furnace installations.”

To be eligible for the program, residents must have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, or 60% of the state median income (whichever is lower). That translates to annual incomes less than $22,911 for a single person or $44,700 for a family of four. Residents who receive federal Supplemental Security Income, state disability assistance or who are part of the Family Independence Program are automatically eligible for the weatherization program.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]