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Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Hosts Home Weatherization Assistance Program

Attendees Learn How to Prepare for Recovery and Reinvestment Funds
Training for “Green Jobs” is Featured

CROWNSVILLE, MD – Today the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) sponsored a workshop to educate government agencies, non-profit groups and community organizations on how the State’s allotment of $61 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds will be utilized. The funding is part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed in February. The purpose of the Weatherization Assistance Program is to increase the energy efficiency of homes owned or occupied by low-income residents, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety.

“Our work in revitalizing neighborhoods and providing safe, affordable housing opportunities is getting a significant boost under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “These new resources allow us to not only continue our commitment to smart, green and growing initiatives but to direct services to more families who otherwise would not be able to afford to improve their homes.”

“As challenging as today’s economy is, it is also an opportunity for us to invest wisely in multi-faceted initiatives like the Weatherization Assistance Program that promote not only job growth but affordable housing and energy efficiency for Maryland’s families,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. “We look forward to working with our state and local partners to utilize these funds to bring more jobs and long term cost savings to communities all over Maryland.”

President Obama’s national goal is to modernize and make more energy efficient 75 percent of federal building space and more than one million homes. Maryland will be receiving $61.4 million from the Department of Energy to help low and moderate income residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes through our Weatherization Assistance Program.

By hosting this Weatherization Assistance Program, DHCD has addressed how jurisdictions will benefit and how they can meet the requirements outlined in the Recovery Act, the roles of the Maryland Energy Administration and Energy Assistance Program and employment and training opportunities in this growing industry. Eighty-five people attended the Weatherization Assistance Program which was held at the headquarters for DHCD in Crownsville.

DHCD moved quickly to set up training for those who wish to receive certification to carry out weatherization projects across Maryland. Working with Maryland’s community colleges, as well as partner agencies Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and the Maryland Energy Administration, they are creating training programs that meet the national skill standards necessary for certification. These include standards for home energy auditors and weatherization crew workers. At least twelve community colleges will be delivering the training in every part of the state. Unemployed Marylanders should contact the One-Stop Employment Centers of their local Workforce Investment Boards by clicking on http://www.dllr.state.md.us/county/ to find the center nearest you.

The Recovery Act is a $787 billion spending package, including more than $3.9 billion that will go to Maryland over the next two years. It includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need. An estimate of more than $234 million will go to support housing and community development-related programs, including more than $113 million that will be administered directly by DHCD.

Last month, Governor O’Malley announced a plan to move Maryland forward toward the goal of creating 100,000 green collar jobs in Maryland by 2015. Details of that plan can be found here. In the past two years, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has set some of the most ambitious goals in America for reducing energy consumption 15 percent by 2015, partly by raising the state’s renewable portfolio standard and leading the charge for America’s first ever cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse gases. In addition, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has passed landmark clean cars legislation, created incentives to help homeowners and businesses utilize green energy, and this past Friday, passed legislation which set ambitious goals for reducing our carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gases.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development works with partners to finance housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD and its programs, visit www.mdhousing.org.

For more information:

Erlene Wilson
Director, Office of Communications and Marketing
410-514-7704
wilson@mdhousing.org

Andy DeVilbiss
410-514-7710
devilbiss@mdhousing.org

Smart, Green and Growing MD stateStat