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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2011   >   HUDNo.11-008a
HUD No. 11-008
Ashley Gammon
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Friday
January 28, 2011

HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN HIGHLIGHTS ENERGY EFFICIENT INNOVATION AT AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BALTIMORE
Recovery Act Award to Baltimore development is creating green jobs and will reduce energy costs

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan visited Poppleton Phase II Apartments to highlight how the development is promoting energy efficient innovation and creating jobs in Baltimore, MD, supporting President Barack Obama's goal of helping America "Win the Future."

Secretary Donovan, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake toured and held a press conference at the 86-unit apartment complex that received $1.56 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009's Assisted Housing Green Retrofit Program. The Green Retrofit Program is providing funding for the installation of high-efficiency heat pumps for heating and cooling, new high-efficiency windows, a EnergyStar cool roof with added insulation, low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucets, and EnergyStar gas water heaters, refrigerators and bathroom exhaust fans for dozens of low and moderate income families. When the project is complete at the end of this year, 180 jobs will have been created for Baltimore-area residents directly from the project's funding. Additionally, many more clean-energy jobs will be created through the University of Maryland's BioPark, a new $300 million biotech campus that is situated near the Poppleton Phase II Apartments.

"The Poppleton Phase II Apartments is a reminder of the targeted investments that President Obama spoke about during his State of the Union speech this week," said Secretary Donovan. "This development represents the type of innovation we need, by bringing clean energy investments to the homes of many low-and-moderate income Americans who will be able to save hundreds of dollars on their utility bills for many years to come I am delighted to have visited the development today to see an example of how communities across America are renewing their commitment to securing prosperity for ourselves and future generations of Americans."

As part of the Recovery Act, the Green Retrofit Program provided $250 million nationally to reduce energy costs, cut water consumption, and improve indoor air quality. The 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 were 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.

"This is a great example of using the green technology of the future to create green energy jobs today," U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said. "These are jobs that can't be outsourced, and the work they're doing will help homeowners afford energy costs. It's a win-win."

"The Poppleton project will provide low-income families with energy-saving housing that will help them reduce their energy costs," said U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin. "Paid for with Recovery funds, this project is a win-win, creating jobs while providing families with affordable, energy-saving housing."

"This project is a wonderful example of what can happen when the private and public sectors work together to provide access to opportunity," Congressman Cummings said. "The Poppleton community will serve as a national model for job creation and community revitalization. It's a win-win situation for all involved."

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 was awarded through competitive grant programs, including the Green Retrofit Program. All 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.

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.