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Millions headed to SA for home weatherization


Greg Harman
gharman@sacurrent.com

Think of it as the stimulus on top of the stimulus.

When the Obama Administration unloaded both fiscal barrels on the nation recently, it shot $5 billion into the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. Of that, Texas will be seeing more than $327 million.

In a move that ensured San Antonio would get a direct share, the state Department of Housing and Community Assistance, responsible for distributing those dollars, agreed to deliver monies directly to the City rather than filter it through the Alamo Area Council of Governments.

Annual federal weatherization funding for the area typically goes through AACOG.

For that policy tweak, San Antonio most likely be counting up $12.3 million for local homes, if the U.S. Department of Energy signs off, said Gordon Anderson, spokesperson for Housing.

Anderson added that partnering with the city made sense since there are existing programs in place that offer home weatherization already and stimulus criteria require rapid program completion.

After finishing their bureaucratic orbit, the funds could start flooding homes as soon as September or October, said Laurence Doxey, director of the San Antonio’s Office of Environmental Policy.

What remains to be seen is what portion of AACOG’s $14 million share will go into the city, as well, as opposed to Bexar and surrounding counties.

To qualify for assistance, homeowners may earn up to 200 percent of U.S. federal poverty guidelines for the weatherization program — around $29,000 for a family of two or $44,000 for a family of four.

Typically, Housing’s weatherization limit tops out at 125 percent of the poverty guideline.


Posted by gharman on 5/11/2009 3:39:06 PM
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