News Release 463

REVISED:  Public invited to attend meetings and share comments on an Energize Missouri Housing Initiative for homes of Missouri's low-income families

Volume 37-463 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Kerry Cordray
573-526-4220

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 3, 2009 -- Project proposals to boost energy savings and cut utility costs for homes of Missouri low-income families will be the focus of a series of upcoming meetings hosted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Energy Center.

Missouri has launched the Energize Missouri Housing Initiative to support innovative approaches to serving energy efficiency and housing quality needs for Missouri's lower-income families. The Energize Missouri Housing Initiative seeks to wed traditional weatherization funds with other funding, talent and resources to amplify housing improvements and more effectively reach underserved populations. DNR will request grant proposals in early 2010 for innovative projects designed to improve the state's Low Income Weatherization Assistance program.

Beginning Dec. 9, DNR will hold a series of seven public meetings on the initiative. The meetings will be held in Cape Girardeau, Springfield, St. Charles, Kansas City, Macon and Columbia. Meeting locations and times are as follows:

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or Recovery Act, Missouri is administering more than $128 million in total federal funding for energy efficiency improvements to homes of low-income families. Most of this funding was subgranted to Missouri's current weatherization agencies. DNR has developed a plan to use more than $25 million of this funding for the Energize Missouri Housing Initiative, which has attracted recognition from federal agencies and other states for using the Recovery Act funding in this way.

Missouri's community action agencies and other public or non-profit groups will be asked in early 2010 to propose projects under the initiative that result in increased benefits for low-income clients, neighborhoods and communities served by the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program. For example, proposed projects may focus on larger, multi-family housing units or neighborhood-based programs, projects that increase services to underserved low income populations, or ways to deliver services more effectively to rural populations.

Comments and discussions heard during the public meetings will help the department develop the final Energize Missouri Housing Initiative. The department expects to release the Request for Proposals in early 2010 to seek proposals from eligible applicants.

People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling the department's Energy Center at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-2254. Hearing-impaired individuals may contact the program through Relay Missouri at 800-735-2966. There is no cost to attend the meetings.

For more information on the program, visit the department's website at dnr.mo.gov/transform/energizemissourihomes.htm or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443.

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