People United for Sustainable Housing, also known as PUSH-Buffalo, has received a grant for $600,000 to weatherize approximately 100 homes throughout the West Side and other areas around the city.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal, a state agency partnering to improve and preserve homes and communities, funded the grant. The funds will support PUSH Green, a non-profit weatherization and energy efficiency program, founded by PUSH Buffalo this year.
PUSH Green plans on beginning the weatherization projects next summer in collaboration with New Buffalo Impact, a non-profit contractor dedicated to weatherizing homes in order to produce energy savings.
The homes that qualify for the grants are ones that have already qualified for the Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP.
“If the people have more energy efficient homes, then their heating and gas bills will not be as high,” said Lonnie Barlow, communications assistant at PUSH Buffalo. “Our hope is that these homeowners will not need as much assistance from organizations such as HEAP.”
PUSH Green also plans on training people from high unemployment areas who are willing to weatherize the homes.
“We not only want to create more energy efficient homes, but get the people from the community involved with the hope that they will retain certain trade skills for further employment opportunities,” Barlow said. By Chanice Johnson and Jennine Taberski