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April 7, 2014
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) announced it has been awarded a $167,957 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) as part of its 2014 EmPOWERing Clean Energy Communities Low-to-Moderate Income Grant Program. This grant will enable GHHI to produce a projected 45 energy efficiency interventions in 2014 for low income Baltimore City residents whose incomes are 85 percent or less of the median income limit established for Baltimore City.
Many of Baltimore’s low income families live in homes that get too hot or too cold due to poor weatherization. As a result, these households face increasingly high utility bills. This grant will allow GHHI to help families reduce energy consumption—and consequently energy costs—by weatherizing their homes and installing energy efficiency measures, e.g. performing furnace tune-ups and installing insulation, low flow showerheads, faucet aerators and energy efficient light bulbs.
“We share Maryland’s commitment to improving the quality of life for families,” said Ruth Ann Norton, president and CEO of GHHI. “The MEA grant will significantly support our ability to deliver integrated and collaborative health and housing services and ensure that children are healthier, families are safer and seniors are better able to age in place.”
GHHI will braid the MEA funding with other public and private funding sources to ensure that qualifying residents benefit from whole-home assessments and also receive interventions for other environmental hazards like lead-based paint, asthma triggers and safety issues. To date, Baltimore City residents served by GHHI have experienced an average annual energy cost savings of more than $400 per household, and a 60 percent decrease in asthma related hospitalizations.
Since 2009, MEA’s EmPOWERing program has financed energy efficiency projects that benefit low-to-moderate income Marylanders. Grants are awarded competitively within the applicant pool for each respective county. The energy measures installed through this program to date are estimated to be saving Maryland residents over $3.35 million in avoided electricity and natural gas costs annually.
MEA Director Abigail Ross Hopper explained that the competition for funding is steep. “This year, MEA evaluated more than $17.8 million in requests, which is almost twice the amount of our program budget of $9.5 million,” she said. “We are delighted to be supporting GHHI’s important work to create homes in Baltimore City that are energy efficient.”
About Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), formerly the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, replaces stand-alone programs with a comprehensive strategy to improve health, economic and social outcomes for children, families and seniors through a proven integrated housing intervention framework.
With support from HUD, DOE, CDC, the Council on Foundations, and numerous philanthropic partners, GHHI now serves as the national model for green and healthy homes interventions. Currently, there are 16 GHHI sites nationally: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, Flint, Jackson, New Haven, Oakland, Philadelphia, Providence, Salt Lake, and San Antonio.