The Recovery Act is making a long-term impact on American families and communities by reducing energy costs, creating green jobs and improving the quality of life for people across the country. That’s why on Thursday, I was proud to announce a major Recovery Act milestone for HUD and the Administration. Through HUD’s Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, which the Recovery Act created for the first time, we’ve been able to award more than $100 million to 100 affordable housing developments around the country to complete energy efficient renovations, and HUD will continue to issue the awards from now through September 30, 2010.
The 100 affordable housing developments receiving HUD funding include over 8,000 homes, and HUD anticipates that the awards will allow tenants will save over $250 each on utility bills annually.
Just a few weeks ago, I joined Congresswoman Holmes-Norton and Mayor Adrian Fenty at the groundbreaking of one of these developments right here in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. Over $2 million in Recovery Act Green Retrofit Program funding will help residents of the Gibson Plaza Apartments cut their utility costs more than 20 percent -- at the same time creating 75 good-paying green jobs that can never be sent offshore.
Overall, the Green Retrofit Program provides $250 million nationally to reduce energy costs, cut water consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Under the Obama Administration, HUD understands that in these difficult economic times families look for ways to save money on everyday costs, and the Green Retrofit Program is just one example of the many ways in which the Recovery Act is helping Americans save money on energy.
The Green Retrofit Program is also an example of HUD’s ongoing commitment to creating jobs while simultaneously building sustainable homes and communities. As our nation continues to recover from the economic crisis, the program is designed to create thousands of quality green jobs as workers retrofit older federally assisted multi-family apartment developments with the next generation of energy efficient technologies.
Initiatives like the Green Retrofit Program illustrate how the Recovery Act continues to work to benefit the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis by generating jobs for Americans, improving housing and neighborhoods and building a path toward sustainability, energy efficiency, and long-term economic prosperity.
Shaun Donovan is Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development