Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties has received a $750,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. The grant will allow the agency to expand its Weatherization Program to 100 owner-occupied, low- to moderate-income homes in Saunders and Rural Lancaster Counties over the next three years.
“This is a great day for Community Action and this community,” said Vi See, Executive Director of Community Action. “Having safe, energy efficient housing is synonymous with one’s ability to maintain and work toward greater financial well-being.”
This grant will extend the work of the agency’s Weatherization Program, funded by the Nebraska Energy Office, which provides services to increase the energy efficiency of low- to moderate-income homes with a goal of lowering utility bills. Grant funds will make more homes eligible for weatherization, and also improve the housing stock in the area. Last year, 51% of those who applied for weatherization help through Community Action did not pass a prescreening inspection due to a disqualifying factor (e.g. mold, asbestos, or structural deficiencies). Though households can fix issues on their own, many have not been able to afford the cost and have had to forego receiving weatherization services altogether. This grant will change that.
“Deferred households, historically, are often in greatest need of our weatherization services,” said Amy Jeanneret, Weatherization and Facilities Administrator with Community Action. “This grant will allow us to remediate factors leading to deferral, increase the number of households receiving weatherization, and, ultimately, improve low- to moderate-income housing stock in our service area.”
Horizon Bank is also invested as a partner, having committed $10,000 toward these efforts.
“Horizon Bank appreciates the opportunity to support this project, which will greatly improve the economic well-being of low- to moderate income homeowners in the communities we serve,” said Janet Latimer, CEO of Horizon Bank.
The target for the services will be low- to moderate-income homeowners (up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level) in Saunders and Rural Lancaster Counties who apply to receive weatherization services through Community Action, but do not pass a prescreening inspection due to a disqualifying factor. Priority will be given to homeowners aged 60+. Specific services to be provided will be based on results of the inspection and focus on hazard remediation including mold and asbestos removal, electrical upgrades, roofing, siding, foundation shoring, and water leaks. Community Action is encouraging anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply.
With the expansion of its Weatherization Program, Community Action is in need of the expertise of qualified contractors. The agency is seeking all kinds of contractors including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, handypersons, foundation repair, roofing, and more.
“Becoming a contracting partner with Community Action is a great opportunity to earn money year-round,” said Jeanneret. “Our contractors get the dual benefit of growing their businesses and improving lives in their community.”
To apply to receive services through Community Action’s Weatherization Program, call (402) 875-9364 or email [email protected]