Champaign, IL, May 03, 2011 -- Contact: Joan Messina (217) 403-6248
Funding Available to Help Weatherize Homes
Champaign, Ill., May 3, 2011—If you are having trouble finding the money to weatherize your home and cut energy costs, there are funding programs that can help. USDA Rural Development is partnering with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to help low-income homeowners weatherize their homes. A broad range of weatherization improvements are eligible for the funding, everything from installing insulation to replacing leaking windows to repairing heating and cooling systems.
“Our goal is to work collaboratively with other agencies so that more families can afford to weatherize their homes,” said Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan. “When we work together, we are more likely to serve more people and bridge any gaps in the availability of resources. Weatherizing our homes also makes our nation more energy efficient and less dependent on outside sources of energy.”
Rural Development weatherization assistance is available in rural areas through its home repair loan and grant program. The agency offers loans of up to $20,000 at only one percent interest to homeowners with qualifying income. The loan can be repaid over a period up to 20 years. A typical $5,000 loan over 20 years would cost a homeowner only $23 per month. Loan funds can be used for scores of home improvements, including weatherization.
Grants of up to $7,500 can be made to seniors age 62 or older. There is a $7,500 lifetime limit on grants. A grant and loan combination can be made if the applicant can repay only part of the total cost.
Over the last 33 years, DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has helped 6.4 million low-income families permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Families receiving weatherization services have seen their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $437, depending on fuel prices.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administers the WAP funding here, distributing it through 29 downstate Illinois community action agencies. The program is geared primarily toward helping the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children.
For more information on the Rural Development repair loan and grant programs. Click on Illinois Rural Development Offices to find the office nearest you. Staff can help determine eligibility, explain the process and even help with the application if needed. They can also direct homeowners to the nearest community action agency offering weatherization assistance.
Rural Development has more than 40 programs that foster growth and economic stability in rural areas by providing affordable financing and technical assistance. Support is available for regional food systems, broadband and biofuel infrastructure, homeownership, business development and community needs. More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available on the web at www.rurdev.usda.gov/il. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).