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Federal Grants to Create Energy-Efficient
and Jobs

PROVIDENCE, RI (Aug. 27, 2010) – An award of $6 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds will soon benefit Rhode Islanders. The funding, which has been awarded to 23 Rhode Island developments, will help reduce some of the energy burden on low-income Rhode Islanders through weatherization improvements.

The initiative – ARRA Weatherization for Multi-Family Housing – will provide grants for weatherization and energy-efficient improvements in existing, affordable, multi-family homes that have five or more apartments and will remain affordable for a minimum of 15 years. The initial 23 developments to receive this funding are located in Central Falls, Coventry, Lincoln, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket.

Funds will be used for improvements such as furnace-efficiency modifications; boiler or heating system replacement; air sealing; clock thermostats; water-flow controllers; ceiling, attic, wall, floor and duct insulation; caulking and weather-stripping of doors and windows; water-heater insulation; storm windows; attic-ventilation enhancements; and vapor barriers.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established a partnership to support the coordination of ARRA funds. The two organizations worked together to develop new regulations that allow for more HUD-assisted homes to qualify for the grants.

“We at HUD are happy to work with the Department of Energy and agencies such as Rhode Island Housing to address energy efficiency in affordable, multi-family homes,” said Richard A. Walega, HUD’s Regional Administrator for New England. “Controlling energy costs is one key to the preservation and sustainability of our stock of affordable homes.”

Rhode Island Housing, in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, will administer the funds. 

“This funding is a win-win,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “We are making homes more energy efficient so that tenants and landlords will save on expenses, and we are also stimulating the local economy by putting more contractors to work. And weatherization has the added benefit of having a positive impact on the environment.”

If there are funds available once the work on these homes is complete, additional developments will be awarded grants, based on the following priorities: 

Assistance to developments

  • which are occupied by low-income seniors,
  • which are occupied by low-income Rhode Islanders with disabilities,
  • which are occupied by low-income families with children,
  • in which tenants pay their own utilities,
  • with high residential energy users and/or households with a high energy burden,
  • with high energy burdens in which tenants do not pay their own energy costs, but where improvements are documented to benefit tenants economically,
  • which will leverage additional resources that address energy efficiency and other critical improvements,
  • which will undergo appropriate long-term improvements that will reduce energy-related costs for tenants and high residential energy users.

Weatherization measures will differ for each property based upon eligible activities. The average cost per rental home is $6,500, which includes the cost of an energy audit and the installation of weatherization materials for energy improvements and to abate energy-related health and safety hazards.

Affiliated Sites

Rhode Island Housing Help Center HHFRI Rhode Island Housing Online Homebuyer Education HomeLocatorRI.net HousingWorksRI Fair Housing Rhode Island Equal Housing Opportunity