Annual Report: Housing and Weatherization Services

In 2013 the Housing and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) staff worked diligently to continue the momentum that was created with the infusion of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2010. Although the bulk of the funds were expended from 2010 to 2012, Texas was charged with the expenditure of the remaining stimulus funding unspent in the original program period. Due to AACOG’s impressive record of expending over $12 million dollars of DOE ARRA funds in strict accordance with Federal Standards, we were chosen as one of only three agencies to expend the remaining funds in Texas.

This additional $603,064 dollars allowed the WAP team to weatherize 55 units in a very special multi-family complex in San Antonio which caters to residents needing various levels of assisted living. This funding also helped to make 48 additional single family homes safer and more energy efficient. Combining all funding sources, Weatherization expenditures for the 2013 calendar year totaled $1.4 million dollars, benefiting more than 258 families.

The WAP team also continued its partnership with Bexar County of cross-referring clients between AACOG’s Weatherization Assistance Program and Bexar County’s Utility Assistance Program through the Department of Community Resources. This partnership works to facilitate delivery of services to families in our community that are experiencing high energy costs and high energy burdens.

Additionally, AACOG’s Housing and Weatherization staff have made significant steps toward developing a comprehensive housing assistance program which addresses more than weatherization and rental assistance. We recognize that much of the housing stock in the AACOG region is in need of additional help to create livable conditions for our citizens with special needs. To this end, we have applied for and received grant assistance to rehabilitate homes and make them accessible to residents with disabilities.

Through the Homes4TexasHeroes program funded through the Texas Veteran’s Commission, we have been able to evaluate and provide accessibility modifications for eight homes in the region which include extensive renovations to bathrooms, kitchens and other areas of the home to assist disabled veterans and family members in remaining in their homes and being integral parts of their neighborhood communities.

We have also been granted Administrator status for the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program which is designed to provide home accessibility modifications for persons with disabilities of any age regardless of veteran status. Looking to the future, the Housing Services team continues to explore grant opportunities to expand housing services in our quest to make a lasting impact on the living conditions of families in our community.