ON EARTH DAY HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN ANNOUNCES RECOVERY ACT FUNDS TO RETROFIT AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. Award to Washington, D.C. project will create green jobs and reduce energy costs
WASHINGTON – On the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that 94 apartments in Southeast Washington, D.C. will become greener and more energy efficient as a result of $1.5 million in Recovery Act funding being awarded to Garfield Hills Apartments, an affordable housing development. Secretary Donovan announced the funding at an event at Garfield Hills with Congresswoman Holmes Norton and Mayor Fenty.
The award is part of HUD’s new Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, created through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Green Retrofit Program is providing $250 million nationally to reduce energy costs, cut water consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Additional grant awards will be made under this program over the next several months on a rolling basis.
“I am proud to announce this funding on Earth Day because not only will it improve the quality of life for Garfield Hills residents, but will also lower energy costs and create quality green jobs at the same time.” said Secretary Donovan. “This is an example of the kind of long-term, fundamental impact the Recovery Act is having on America’s economy through clean energy investments.”
Garfield Hills Apartments is a 94-unit family affordable housing er consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Additional grant awards will be made under this program over the next several months on a rolling basis. development built in 1949. The renovations funded with the grant being announced today will enhance quality of life for residents, lower their utility costs by 21 percent and increase water and energy efficiency. They will also create quality construction-related job opportunities for Washington, D.C. area residents. Retrofits will produce major system upgrades including the installation of EnergyStar thermostats, kitchen range exhaust hoods, refrigerators and bathroom exhaust fans, new high-efficiency gas furnaces and exterior doors and siding, green floor coverings, formaldehyde-free bathroom cabinets, upgraded energy efficient lighting, bathroom faucets, and the use of non-toxic paints, adhesives and sealants throughout.
The Green Retrofit Program is designed to create thousands of green jobs across the country as workers retrofit older federally assisted multi-family apartment developments with the next generation of energy efficient and green building technologies. Grants and loans provided through this program help private landlords and property management companies to cut heating and air conditioning costs by installing more efficient heating and cooling systems and to reduce water use by replacing faucets and toilets. These Recovery Act funds also produce other environmental benefits by encouraging the use of recycled building materials, reflective roofing, and non-toxic products to reduce potentially harmful ‘off-gassing’ of harmful fumes. Funds are awarded to owners of HUD-assisted housing projects and can be used for a wide range of retrofit activities, ranging from windows/doors to solar panels and geothermal installation.
The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75 percent of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law. The remaining 25 percent is being awarded through competitive grant programs, including the Green Retrofit Program. To date, 98 percent of HUD’s Recovery Act funds are in the hands of local communities, being used to improve housing and neighborhoods, while creating jobs. HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis.
In addition, Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD’s Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD’s funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD’s Recovery Act website.