DOE and HUD Sign Agreement to Streamline Weatherization Process
May 6, 2009
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), signed an agreement on May 6 to coordinate energy retrofit programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The new process will help minimize the administrative barriers and simplify the process for residents of HUD public and assisted housing that are seeking to increase the energy efficiency of their homes through DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program.
Specifically, the agreement recognizes that HUD uses a rigorous process for verifying the income of families living in HUD Qualified Housing and in rental housing supported by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. To help bring weatherization services to these families, HUD will provide DOE with a list of families that would qualify for weatherization assistance, and DOE will rely on the validity of the HUD data. This will simplify the application process for families that want weatherization assistance. Within the next two months, DOE and HUD intend to provide joint guidance to all affected entities, including states, local governments, and nonprofit and for-profit partners, describing how the agencies' programs can be further aligned. DOE and HUD will continue to work together to provide guidance to public and assisted housing on energy efficiency programs, to develop a common baseline for measuring energy efficiency, and to develop new home energy financing products. See the full text of the agreement between DOE and HUD (PDF 47 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
The new agreement is the first fruit of a DOE and HUD partnership that was formed in February to streamline and coordinate federal weatherization efforts, with a particular focus on Recovery Act funds. The Recovery Act provided $16 billion to DOE and HUD to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. The new partnership between DOE and HUD will coordinate funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which received $5 billion under the Recovery Act. HUD also received $4.5 billion in Recovery Act funds to renovate and upgrade public and Native American housing, as well as $250 million to retrofit privately owned, federally assisted housing. DOE has received $3.2 billion in Recovery Act funds for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants that will be used by cities, counties, states, and tribes, as well as $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program, and more. See the DOE press release, the article from the EERE Network News on the partnership, and the Recovery Act Web site for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.