Lansing, MI - Low-income residents of multifamily affordable housing will benefit from an expanded Weatherization Assistance Program provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The MDHHS Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity has expanded its weatherization services to include a service provider focusing on multifamily affordable housing with five or more units after the department received additional federal funding.
The expansion means low-income people living in these multifamily units will gain access to the benefits of energy efficiency efforts and health and safety upgrades – providing weatherization services to hundreds of additional families.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to reduce energy costs for low-income households while ensuring their health and safety. MDHHS administers the funding in Michigan. As part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, MDHHS received approximately $183 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program, providing the opportunity for the expansion. These funds, issued in 2022, will be used in addition to the approximately $21 million received annually.
“MDHHS wants to help Michigan residents pay their energy bills,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “Weatherizing your home is a good way to reduce energy costs, prevent you from falling behind on paying for your utilities, and keep your family healthy. I am so pleased that we have been able to expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to assist more people.”
Through a competitive process, MDHHS selected ICAST (International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology), a national 501c3 nonprofit, as the new provider. ICAST has a history of nationally scaling weatherization, beneficial electrification, and renewable energy solutions for multifamily affordable housing properties.
ICAST plans to begin working with eligible providers starting October 2023. It is currently developing the infrastructure and processes through select pilot projects, said Ravi Malhotra, president of ICAST. “We are honored and thrilled to bring our expertise and experience to Michigan and serve its residents who are most in need of lowering their utility bills and health care costs through weatherization services,” he said.
More information is available at www.icastusa.org.