Sunday, May 22, 2022

Play

The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.

Play

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

More MN Homes Could Benefit from Weatherization

Play

Friday, October 29, 2021   

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. -- Home weatherization programs for low-income households have come a long way, but federal funding has not always matched demand.

In Minnesota, community action agencies often oversee the assistance, and hope they can stretch their budgets further. The governor has declared tomorrow Weatherization Day for the state.

This year, there is a possibility of some extra federal attention, with the pending infrastructure bill poised to include ten times the funding weatherization programs usually get.

Laura Milbrandt, weatherization director for the Prairie Five Community Action Council in western Minnesota, said it could free up other money to help households address other glaring needs.

"Sometimes we get into the house and there are things we can't address, so we have to defer households," Milbrandt observed. "Some health and safety items, like major plumbing and major electrical, that we just... it's beyond the scope of what weatherization can fix."

And she pointed out they can reach more people who are not deemed a priority for traditional weatherization needs, like insulation and furnace repairs.

The agencies noted services have grown from mainly putting plastic on windows, to a scientific approach in protecting homes. The infrastructure bill in Congress was expected to include $3.5 billion for weatherization efforts.

Scott Zahorik, executive director of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency in northern Minnesota, said there is a waiting list for weatherization. Should the extra funding come through, they can help many others reduce their energy-cost burden.

"There's a lot of single parents out there trying to raise their families," Zahorik explained. "We've got a lot of senior citizens on fixed incomes. And we can really make a life-changing difference in their home."

Local agencies are guided by Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP).

Annie Shapiro, advocacy director for MinnCAP's Resource Fund, said the funding boost would provide opportunities for growth and program innovation.

"To think of creative ways to weatherize some of the more multifamily housing buildings and units, which tend to be a bit more challenging," Shapiro suggested.

The state reported the program has reduced energy costs by an average of 15% in more than 49,000 Minnesota homes since 2005.

Disclosure: Minnesota Community Action Association Resource Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Early Childhood Education, Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


Environment

New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …


The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …

Environment

Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021