Keeping the Winter Weather Outside and People’s Money in Their Pockets
In addition to its whole-building rehabilitation work, PUSH has expanded West Side residents’ access to funds for weatherization. In 2009, PUSH organizers canvassed the GDZ to generate applications for federal stimulus funds earmarked for home weatherization.
Since then PUSH has completed a special Weatherization Assistance Program and Healthy Homes Pilot centered in the Green Development Zone. 71 units of low-income housing were updated through this program between October 2012 and June 2013. All work was done by New Buffalo Impact, a not-for-profit contractor which is also a participant in the PUSH Green Friends & Neighbors Program. New Buffalo Impact also employed neighborhood outreach workers to recruit residents into the program.
PUSH plans to continue up-scaling this type of reinvestment in the wake of its spectacular victory in the National Fuel Campaign, when New York State Public Service Commission ordered utility companies to redirect almost $19 million in a conservation program from corporate advertisement to low-income weatherization projects.
Following the principles of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, PUSH sees the expansion of the retrofit business as a source of quality local jobs for West Side residents. This is also major goal of PUSH Green, which has expanded the market for green housing retrofits across Erie County and generate more green jobs.