The Weatherization Assistance Program: 40 Years of Improving Homes and Lives

The Weatherization Assistance Program: 40 Years of Improving Homes and Lives


You know, home is a place where you feel
safe. It’s a place where families gather and
where children are raised and it’s a comfortable place. It’s that place to shelter yourself from the challenges of the world, recharge your batteries, and
be supported. The home is the foundation of our existence right, it’s this place where we’re safe, where we keep our loved ones and without a home that we feel comfortable and confident in, it’s very hard to be successful in the rest of our lives. The Weatherization Assistance Program is the nation’s oldest and largest whole-house home performance program…we work with low-income families and we’re in every state and territory in the country. Weatherization is kind of a forefront of the energy efficiency industry…it’s been around since the seventies and a lot of the technology that is being used today came
from the weatherization crews…they would they would try new things. test new products, test new equipment, ideas… It has developed over the years into a
very comprehensive program that looks at energy, that looks at health, and looks at
safety, and has done a great deal to give people much more disposable income so that they can have better lives. It’s really exciting to see how we’ve sort of evolved from this tiny program, where people were borrowing a ladder if they’re lucky…to be using the
most advanced technologies in the world to make people’s lives better. Without the Weatherization Assistance Program, folks would be left to live in an unsafe, unhealthy environment They’d have very high utility bills…a lot of them would go without food and basic essentials because they be paying for the utility
costs. Because we’re helping people that are really vulnerable, they’re low-income We’ve gone to clients’ homes who have deceased from the heat…waiting for help and it’s not a good feeling So I mean, we’re talking life-or-death situations for these people. The Weatherization program has basically transformed the building industry in Alaska… We’ve come to understand how houses work, how houses work with the
families that are living in them, how to make them not only be healthier and more efficient, but to increase the life of the building stock. I think what’s amazing about Weatherization hitting 40 years is that it really shows how the program itself is a good idea… It cuts across political boundaries, it
cuts across ideological boundaries, and it does what we all want to do as a
society, which is help. And anyone who looks at the program recognizes that – this is a program that is there to improve everyone’s lives – it’s not just
the clients but it’s their communities, it’s the entire country – we’re reducing the national energy burden and 40 years of the program’s success is…is remarkable. What I like about the WAP program is it makes a difference… It is a program that when you walk in you’re going to change the lives of those people that are in that
household…and that’s a great feeling. It helps people in a very visceral and very
connected way – it helps the people who are learning to do the work, it helps the families are receiving the
work, and it’s really creating a workforce development track for folks in the
energy industry. You know, this has been my college…you know, I have learned so much, I have a lot of knowledge and I appreciate all the people that took the
time to spend time with me and walk me through everything I know. It really transforms the people who work in the industry to understand what the plight of someone who is a low-income person is especially someone who owns their own
home and is struggling to keep it. I think the home is at the very heart of
everyone’s success…you need a place to feel safe, you need a place to go back to at the end of the day when you’re done
doing what you do in the world…and I think it’s an amazing thing to be
able to improve people’s homes because it really is improving everything about
their lives. I think there’s a great future in it…I think we’ve just begun…

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