WASHINGTON, DC –
U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) announced today that the Housing Authority of the Town of Easton has been awarded a $4.85 million grant for Phase I of the construction of a new “green” public housing facility in Easton. Phase I will involve the construction of four four-story buildings serving Easton’s senior community. These four buildings will house 72 living units for Easton’s elderly, and a spacious community area that will provide an array of senior services.
The energy efficient design will incorporate the latest green technology, like geothermal energy for heating, which will help bring down energy costs. The facility, called Westport Commons, will eventually expand to include a mix of home ownership and rental units for low-to-moderate income residents.
Funding for this initiative was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. The list of grant recipients was released for the first time today.
“Energy efficient and water conserving design isn’t just good for the environment; it makes financial sense and will help lessen expenses for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Seniors and other residents who live in this new Easton community will have lower energy and water costs, generating savings for them and the community,”
said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Today’s grant announcement also brings valuable jobs to Easton at a critical time, when our state and the nation are continuing to put our economy back on track.”
“This announcement is exactly what the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act is all about – creating and sustaining jobs today and preparing for the jobs of tomorrow,”
Senator Mikulski said. “Conserving energy and becoming less reliant on imported oil is critical to America’s economy and national security. These federal funds will help Marylanders reduce their monthly energy bills and help transform communities. I will continue to fight for federal investments like this one that will create new jobs in cities and towns across America, including right here in Easton, while accelerating our nation’s transition to a more sustainable and secure energy future.”
The Public Housing Capital Funds awarded today are provided through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and are specifically designated for the creation of energy efficient communities through substantial rehabilitation or new construction of public housing developments. Activities include, but are not limited to, development of connections to neighborhoods and green space; site improvements that provide surface water management techniques that capture, retain, infiltrate and/or harvest rainfall; water conservation through the use of water-conserving appliances, fixtures and efficient irrigation; energy efficiency that meets Energy Star standards for new construction; and use of renewable energy resources.
In February, just eight days after President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S. Distributed by formula, that funding is already being put to work to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower income residents. The funding being announced today is part of an additional $1 billion in Public Housing Capital Funds designated by the Recovery Act to be awarded competitively.
HUD's Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.