The Weatherization Assistance Program: 40 Years of Improving Homes and Lives



you know home is a place where you feel safe it's a place where families gather and we're children are raised and it's it's a comfortable place it's that place to shelter yourself from the challenges of the world recharge your batteries and be supportive the home is the foundation of our existence right it's this place where we're safe where we keep our loved ones and without a home that we feel comfortable and confident and it's very hard to be successful in the rest of our lives the weatherization Assistance Program is the nation's oldest and largest whole house home Performance Program I work with low-income families and we're in every state territory in the country weatherization is kind of the forefront of the energy efficiency industry it's been around since the 70s and a lot of the technology that is being used today came from the weatherization crews they would try new things test new products test new equipments ideas it has developed over the years into a very comprehensive program that looks at energy that looks at health and looks at safety and has done a great deal to give people much more disposable income so that they can have it's really exciting to see how it sort of evolved from this tiny program where people were borrowing a ladder if they were lucky that using the most advanced technologies in the world to make people's lives better without the weatherization assistance program folks would be left to live in an unsafe unhealthy environment it had very high utility bills a lot of them would go without food and basic essentials because they'd be paying for the utility cost because we're helping people that are really vulnerable they're low income beef garment Clarence Holmes who have disease from the heat waiting for help and that's not a good deal so I mean we're talking life-or-death situations the weatherization program has basically transformed the building industry in Alaska we've come to understand how houses work houses work with and families that are living in them how to make them not only be healthier and more efficient but to increase the life of the building stock I think what's amazing about weatherization hitting forty years is that it really shows how the program itself is a good idea it cuts across political boundaries of cuts across ideological boundaries and it does what we all want to do as a society which is help and anyone who looks at the program recognizes that this is a program that is there to improve everyone's lives it's not just the clients but it's their communities it's the entire country we're reducing a national energy boredom and 40 years of program success is is remarkable what I like about the web program is it makes a difference it is a program that when you walk in you're going to change the lives of those people that are in that household and that's a great feeling it helps people in a very visceral and very connected way it helps the people who are learning to do the work it helps the families who are receiving the work and it's really creating a workforce development track for folks in the energy industry you know this has been my college you know I have learned so much I have a lot of knowledge and I appreciate all the people that took the time to spend time with me and walk me through everything I know they really transforms the people who work in the industry to understand what the plight of someone who is a low-income person is especially someone who wants their own home and is struggling to keep it I think the home is at the very heart of everyone's success you need a place to feel safe you need a place to go back to at the end of the day when you're done doing what you do in the world and I think it's it's an amazing thing to be able to improve people's homes because it really is improving everything about their lives I think there's a great feature in it I think we just began you

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