BEND, Ore. - Whether you like it or not, winter weather is here. While many people crank up their thermostat, there are others who simply can’t afford to.
NeighborImpact, a 21 Cares for Kids partner, is working to change that. Its weatherization program has been helping winterize homes for more than three decades, but this is the first year they’re making use of extra funding through the Meyer Memorial Trust.
The organization is now offering services for qualified mobile home owners and renters. Crews are out now helping low-income people all over the tri-county area get ready for winter. The money lets NeighborImpact go beyond what it can normally do.
Ken Hanna, manager of the weatherization program, said they weatherize about 100 homes a year.
“We add insulation, check the house for air leaks, tighten the duct systems, fix the heating systems,” he said Thursday. “So the goal is to get the energy bill down in the homes.”
The work helps keep heat in during the cold winter months, so owners and renters won’t need to spend as much money on energy bills.
“In winterized homes, these mobile homes that we do, probably 80 percent of them we get their bills down $300, $400 a month,” said Mark Christopher, a contractor for NeighborImpact. “Yeah, 50 percent is our goal to cut down their power bill.”
Reaching this goal means a lot to the people they help.
Imelda Navat said some winters, she felt like she was drowning in bills. She needs to stay at home and watch her toddler, so they need to run the heat most of the day.
“During the winter, we do get a little in debt with just the electricity,” she said. “I remember one time we were up in the thousands with how much we were owing, because we were paying $300, $400 a month.”
Navat said she can already feel the changes in warmth of her house, and she’s looking forward to having a lower bill.
More information on the weatherization program can be found at http://www.neighborimpact.org/
Here's more information, from NeighborImpact's Thursday news release:
NeighborImpact's Weatherization Program Offers
Services for Rural Mobile Home Owners and Renters
Bend, OR - The NeighborImpact Weatherization Program is now offering repair services for income-qualified mobile home owners and renters. Free services may include:
- Health and safety repairs
- Electrical and plumbing repairs
- Leaky roof repairs
- Floor, deck, or siding repairs
- Heating repair or replacement
NeighborImpact's Weatherization program received funding through the Meyer Memorial Trust to expand professional weatherization services to mobile homes in Crook and Jefferson Counties and in rural areas of Deschutes County. The purpose of this program is to increase the energy efficiency of homes for cooler summers, warmer winters and lower energy bills.
The grant funding for this project was awarded by the Meyer Memorial Trust as part of their Affordable Housing Initiative. The initiative aims to strengthen the long-term health and sustainability of Oregon's existing affordable housing and preserve rural manufactured homes. "Meyer is glad to support program's like NeighborImpact," says Michael Parkhurst, Affordable Housing Initiative Program Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. "We have learned that timely repairs can be a cost-effective way to help homeowners stay in their homes, live in better comfort and health within a community, and even sometimes can help prevent a slide into homelessness."
Those interested in participating in the program are encouraged to visit the NeighborImpact website for eligibility information at www.neighborimpact.org/services/home-weatherization-grants or call 541-504-5664. For Weatherization program information or information on the Meyer Memorial Trust funding, please call Ken Hanna, Weatherization Manager, at 541-504-5664.
About NeighborImpact: Since 1985, NeighborImpact has been a leader in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes County. The agency offers a diversity of services meeting basic human needs for food and shelter, while enriching people's lives by providing access to increased education, skills, and hope for the future. NeighborImpact is a private nonprofit organization that receives federal, state and local grants, foundation grants, and donations from individuals and businesses in our community.