The UCHRA is working to make the elderly, disabled and low income residents of the Upper Cumberland safe and comfortable this winter.
Weatherization Assistance Program Manager Tommy Simcox said the program works with contractors to fix windows, doors and heating and cooling units for those in need. Simcox said doing this work is about meeting any challenge to provide someone a weather safe home.
“I just enjoy helping people, I enjoy getting out and meeting people, going to their homes and it’s a challenge,” Simcox said. “Every home is different, it’s a challenge to see what we can do to better their lives and make their homes more comfortable.”
In order to qualify, Simcox said applicants need to fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Beyond the health and safety benefits, Simcox said $1 spent in weatherization can bring $4.50 in energy savings for those who need it most.
“A one person household can make as much as $25,520 annually,” Simcox said. “A household of four can make up to $52,400 dollars annually.”
Once someone has qualified, Simcox said a before and after audit will occur. Simcox said this is to determine what needs to be done, and to make sure it was done right.
“We work on windows and doors, sometimes can replace those,” Simcox said. “Work on heating and cooling units, sometimes we can replace heating and cooling if it meets certain guidelines.”
Simcox said a big benefit to this process is improving air quality in the home, and also making sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are protecting the home. Those in need of weatherization this winter can request an application through the mail or email, or make an appointment at their local UCHRA office.
Simcox said this program is available to renters and home owners. If someone is renting, Simcox said they will ask property owners to allow weatherization to be done, and ask that rent is not raised for 12 months.