Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Save $$--Apply Now: CACLV to Weatherize 100+ Homes in the West Ward

WWNP now accepting applications for free weatherization
of qualified households in the West Ward

Posted by: Noel Jones

Good news for low-to-moderate income families in the West Ward that want to save money on heating bills: Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley is now accepting applications at the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership for home weatherization.  The goal is to weatherize a minimum of 100 homes in the West Ward! The program is first come, first served and many families in the West Ward are eligible. Landlords are also eligible under
certain conditions and anyone interested can call Tom Jones at 610-515-0893 for more information.

Whether you own or rent, you may be eligible to receive free weatherization. Depending upon the needs of the home, the program may provide: Attic, roof or floor insulation, window and door caulking or weather-stripping.

Families who have received LIHEAP/CRISIS, TANF or SSI within the last 12 months are automatically eligible.

Landlords of low-income tenants can contact the WWNP directly or refer their tenants.


Easton Heights Blogger said...

good tip, thanks. and thank you for including that diagram. it shows only 10% of heat loss is through the windows, but that's the first place people dump lots of money.
much better to get insulation blown into the walls and insulate the attic before putting new windows in.

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

This is an excellent program and has been in existence for years and when I lived in Allentown ,I utilized it myself.It is particularly useful for people who have the dreaded ELECTRIC heat.
A lot of rental properties that are run by management corporations and housing that may not be very modern and quite often that is where low to moderate income families are forced to live find themselves in a predicament where it is either eat or pay the utility bill. This service insures that the home or apartment is weatherized and is a stop gap for folks freezing.Thank You to "Neighbors" for this posting, hopefully it will spread the word and folks will get the assistance they need to stay warm.The post and diagram are excellent tools.

noel jones said...

I just spoke with a representative for CACLV who told me that the allocation per house will be up to $4,000. Hopefully they will go for wall and roof insulation first, and windows and caulking last, since those are the areas where the most heat is lost in a house. Does anyone know how much insulation $4,000 buys? I have no idea...I assume CACLV would be able to buy the insulation in bulk and at a discount, right?

Anonymous said...

This program is wonderful, but what about the young middle class families who are making their homes in the west ward. We make to much money to qualify for these programs. Considering the amount of rentals in the West Ward, maybe there should be a program in place to help out the homeowners who are trying to make their homes and neighborhoods better.

noel jones said...

Anon 8:18--you make an important point. Most of the grant money flowing into the WW right now leaves out the struggling middle class home-owners that are already here. The green rehab projects coming this summer are aimed mostly at drawing in middle class families, but those are only for home buyers.

The only grant program I know of that might help middle class families in the WW is the Pennsylvania HOME program available through the City. Lisa Borick is the person to contact. It is a rehab grant program that is specifically for code-compliance issues only. So, that could be things like peeling paint, broken windows, roofs and porches, or any issue inside the house that is a code compliance issue.

Anonymous said...

Allowing renters to utilize this grant is completely unfair. If I as a homeowner make even slightly over the maximum income, I can receive no benefit. Meanwhile, my renting neighbor who’s main income can be drug sales (not reportable), can easily qualify. Then they get new windows, insulation, etc. and their rich and can afford it but “I don’t care I live in Palmer” landlords get free work to their property?? Insane. Not to mention if damage occurs or a lease ends soon after the work is complete. THE HOME OWNER ONLY SHOULD QUALIFY. Let’s change the rules before the approval process begins!! I would have gone to discuss this in person, but I worked 2 of my many jobs today so I can slowly save up for windows. Oh, and a Snuggie. It’s freezing in my west ward home.

celticwarrior said...

Anonymous your feelings are like millions of Americans.You work many jobs long hours and dont spend much time with your family.And every time you look at your pay check you see all the taxes that are taken out.

Unfair it is why shouldnt people like you get back some of what you put in to it.this is the kind of bureaucrcy that divides our towns.
I think you would be agood person to keep an eye on this program.Get a little more involved if you got the time.I dont think there was much input from the public.I would argue the point on windows.There is no point putting a bandaid on bad windows.

But as we all know windows would eat up that 4000 in no time.This program should be viewed by many.Mostly by those who are putting more into by others.This is alot of tax dollars we need to stop throwing it out there just to feel good and to opees those.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

I completely agree with Anon 8:18. The income eligibility limits for the weatherization program are unfair. Only renters on public assistance can meet the very low income limits, resulting in “I don’t care I live in Palmer” landlords getting free work to their property. That's an affront to West Ward working and middle class families burdened by taxes, student loans, and gas prices. These families, who lend stability to the neighborhood, are left in the cold. Pun intended. According to a recent email sent from the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, only a handful of people have applied. This is because the income levels are too low. My gross income is too high to be eligible, but if one calculates the (insanely burdensome) student loans, transportation, and taxes, I struggle from pay check to pay check. My house is bleeding heat. Through the doors, the windows, the attic, the floor. Having a little help would be very welcome -even if it was in the form of a no-interest loan. To think that a landlord not living and contributing to the neighborhood is eligible, while I must calculate in years when I will have the money saved to address my weatherization problems, is simply unjust. The kiss of death for a grant funded program is low participation. Say goodbye to future funding for weatherization or rehabbing if this program does not entail full participation. To get full participation, the weatherization program should be restructured to allow the middle class to participate.

Julie Zando-Dennis

noel jones said...

Well said, Julie. I would also like to point out that if a grant program DOES really aim to weatherize 100 homes of the poorest of the WW, it is not really trying to just post it in the newspaper and on a blog. A very low percentage (sadly) of Americans read the paper any more (or read books for that matter) and the poorest residents in the WW are not likely to afford computers and internet access to read a blog.

The only way to make a meaningful attempt to promote ANY program for Easton's poor is to go door to door, hand out brochures and most importantly, talk with the residents to convince them to come. The next best thing would be a mailer, but even that might not be too effective, because a lot people throw out anything that looks like junk mail without even reading it.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

I agree Noel. Writing the grant is only about 5% of what is needed to successfully exact change. The rest is shoe leather, knocking on doors, leaving flyers in laundromats, hospitals, places of worship. It takes hard work. FYI The prison print shop will print flyers for free.

noel jones said...

Hopefully the WWNP will hire a director soon, and take the blog poll at the bottom of our home page into account, as I forwarded the results to CACLV.

The WWNP needs a director that understands how to manage effective outreach.

Easton Heights Blogger said...

for Julie and the anonymous commenters:
how much do you people make? you complain tha the limits are too low, but I just can't relate to that.
I just got the flyer today and I thought the limits are fine. we're a family of 5 (which helps of course) and the limit is $51,580! I'm well under that(in fact I'm still under the limit for a family of 4).
I own my home and provide for my family just fine w/ this salary. sure we have debt like anyone else. but if you don't qualify for these programs, well, you've got to figure out why you can't live within your means and stop complaining.

celticwarrior said...

Just a note the grant money given out for weatherize program I believe is going to be 6500.Not 4000.

Easton blogger, why do you think you should recieve this money and not others.If we all put into the system and some more then others you should have the right to it.Personaly this program should target our seniors first and I hope its for American citizens only.

I think the whole idea is to stay out of poverty.And the way Elec. gas,and all utility prices are going up because of our new administration. I think we all can use the help.
This is just another example of what congress is doing to Redistribute the wealth.I hope you all get involved and make a voice on this program.
this is why the Obama Death care is on hold.God bless America.
Oh is ok if I use Godor is it acrime yet.

Easton Heights Blogger said...

celtic warrior, I never said I should receive it and not others. all I was commenting on was the income limits. I understand you have a need to rant, but don't misrepresent me.
I doubt I will even apply. my house is not drafty, my heater is new already, and I don't want some contractor working in my house. my brickwork needs to be repointed, but I don't know if that qualifies for this program.
I do really think you need some help though. professional help because you obviously have some unresolved issues. please get the help you need, because carrying around all that hate is not healthy.

noel jones said...

Well said, EHB.

celticwarrior, your hate gives you away. your reference to healthcare reform has absolutely nothing to do with this post, so the comment is clearly a compulsion (to express hate for the President of the U.S).

this is not a hate forum, nor is it the Express Times on line, where, as another reader suggested on another post, you will find plenty of commenters who share your perspectives. the fact that you continue to post here instead demonstrates that you actually do it as a form of harassment, rather that to be part of a constructive debate.

many readers on this blog manage to disagree with each other and debate civilly, but you seem to find that difficult. you are welcome to the conversation if you can stick to the topic and avoid hate-mongering. otherwise, you will be deleted.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

In response to Easton Heights Blogger: As I explained in my post, because of taxes, student loans, and gas prices, I struggle from paycheck to paycheck. If it were not for these burdens, I could, as you say, "live within my means." As it is, I drive a 13 year-old car, do not have a tv or cable, rarely eat dinner out, brown bag it at lunch, and my last "vacation" was a road trip to visit relatives. I should stop here before I get accused again of "complaining."

I'll say it again: the weatherization program should be restructured to allow the middle class to participate.

Easton Heights Blogger said...

I am sorry I offended you, but we are all in the same boat. my list includes credit card debt, student loans, mortgage, 2nd mortgage, car payment, ever increasing property taxes and utilities. and don't forget 2 cell phone bills, high speed internet and cable too. and a grocery bill for a family of 5.
so although I sympathize with your situation, it is hardly unique. many people struggle just like you and many with much greater burdens.
perhaps the big difference is how many people are in your household. as I mentioned, we are a family of 5, so the income level is higher. so if you are a single person homeowner I can see your difficulty.
again, I am sorry if you were offended.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

Didn't say my situation was "unique." Quite the contrary, I think it is common, and that's why the WWNP, which has 200 weatherization grants to give out, but to date has less than 10 applicants, should open the program up to the struggling middle class. A timetable could be set up to first serve low income residents, including senior citizens, and than after a certain date if there is money left, to middle class homeowners.

darkesthour said...

I appreciate Celtic Warriors point about the seniors being thought of first but would just ask CW one question and make one point.

How do you see the rise in utility bills being the fault of this administration? - thats the question.

The point - "America" is two continents (at least) you probably mean to say "God Bless the United States."

noel jones said...

Julie and EHB~I think a good solution might be to open the grants up to struggling middle-class residents, but give priority to lower-income residents, that way the grants are more likely to get used, yet the focus would remain on help those in the most need.

One caveat though--to make a genuine effort to make the poorest of the neighborhood the priority would require a tremendous amount of outreach--actual face time going door to door to explain the program and convince people that they can take advantage of it. It has been only too clear in the last three years that I have lived here that advertising in the papers and on a blog is not enough to bring residents out to a meeting in numbers, as most Americans don't read the paper, and the poorest of our neighborhood don't have computers and internet access to see a blog (nor are they familiar with the opportunity to use the library for free). one in three WW residents have never completed high school. We are at a massive deficit of education here, and it will require community education via real outreach to get the number of low-income applicants that CACLV/WWNP is saying they want to help.

Anything short of door to door outreach is just lip service, and then where will all that money go? What happens if there is money for 200 weatherizations and only 10 people apply?

Easton Heights Blogger said...

I agree, getting to actually KNOW the grants EXIST is the challenge. over the years, I was able to get two grants, the sidewalk grant and a porch grant (which I used to hand build my cedar railings myself). but finding out about them was like some spy movie, getting slips of paper handed to me w/ some tel # on them. this is how I first met Gary B; he was very helpful in getting me the grants.
I try to keep up on things, reading the paper, listening around, etc. and there are still things that go on I have no idea about, and I've been here 15 years!

celticwarrior said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.