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$500,000 grant will help weatherize low-income homes

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Mar 04 2013 08:40:09 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2013 12:02:08 AM CST

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

In the midst of winter's chill, many homeowners in eastern Idaho struggle to keep warm even indoors.

A big grant for the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership means the organization will be able to help many more people weatherize their homes this year.

The $500,000 grant will make a huge impact on the program.
 
"We have a 3 year waiting list," said EICAP director Russ Spain.

The weatherization program has a long list of hopeful families. Spain said hundreds of low-income families are in the cold and waiting for some help to fix their homes.
 
"The reason many people's power bills or heating bills are as high as they are is because they're living in homes that need insulation," said Spain. "They're leaking air through the doors, or letting in cold air through the windows."
 
Families who already receive energy assistance qualify for weatherization through EICAP. But with a long list of families hoping to get the help, Spain said the $500,000 Affordable Housing Award from the Seattle Bank caught his eye.

So, he applied for it.

"When EICAP called us up and said, 'We have this weatherization project and we need a sponsor bank,' we were more than happy to be the sponsor bank," said Bank of Idaho president Park Price.

Price sponsored EICAP's application for the grant. The Seattle Bank award process is highly competitive and takes applications from programs in a 9 state region.

"Clearly our need was greater than other areas," said Price.

Spain said the grant is equal to about half the program's total funding from all other funding sources and will cover work on about 75 homes.

EICAP will assess individual family needs and address the worst cases first.
    
The grant allows for about $6,500 to be spent on each home.

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