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Framingham, Franklin Receive Over $450K to Replace Housing Heating Systems

August 23, 2010

Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced that two MetroWest towns will receive federal weatherization assistance recovery funds to replace old, inefficient heating systems in buildings operated by public housing authorities. These upgrades will create jobs, deliver clean, efficient warmth and lower heating costs for tenants of family public housing developments in Framingham and Franklin.

In Framingham, $372,628 will be going towards construction funding for heating system replacement at the Framingham Housing Authority’s 200-2 St. Lo development.  In Franklin, $77,880 will go towards construction funding for 12 high efficiency oil furnaces at the Franklin Housing Authority’s Chapter 200-1 family housing development.

“These ARRA funds will create needed jobs and lower energy costs. These funds are being appropriated wisely, as these are exactly the types of projects we should be doing to increase energy efficiency, save money, and create jobs,” said Senator Spilka.

“Today’s awards will not only help keep our environment clean, but these heating system upgrades will boost business, put people to work and improve conditions for families living in state public housing,” said Governor Patrick.

“Investing in energy efficiency improvement projects like these pays dividends in the long run by allowing us to keep public housing as a viable, cost-effective, permanent and affordable housing option for low-income families,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, chair of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness.

“This investment will make our state’s public housing developments more energy efficient and that means lower heating bills for years to come. It will ensure that thousands of Massachusetts families won’t be forced to choose between paying their heating bills and putting food on their tables,” said Senator John Kerry.

The announcement is part of $25 million set aside for public housing energy upgrades out of $122 million in stimulus funds awarded to Massachusetts for weatherization services to low-income homes. Those American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds come to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and are administered for DHCD by a statewide network of local non-profit agencies.

DOE program requirements call for the $25 million in public housing funds to be used for weatherization of housing where tenants pay for their own heat and earn less than 60% of area median income. The balance of program funds will provide eligible private households with full-scale home energy conservation services. In total, it is estimated that the entire $122 million will be used to weatherize an estimated 16,900 homes by the end of March 2012.

Weatherization improvements can include air sealing and weather stripping; repairs or replacement of expired heating systems; attic, wall and floor insulation; and storm or replacement windows.

“We have many state-managed public housing developments in Massachusetts that are over 50 years old with heating systems that are in need of replacement,” said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. “These recovery funds will help us to replace those systems and improve our public housing facilities.”

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