Weatherization available for low-income homeowners


Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA) has funding to assist eligible low-income homeowners in Pinal County with weatherization, according to Executive Director Mary Lou Rosales.

Under the Weatherization program in Pinal County, improvements are made by CAHRA to help reduce energy consumption and energy costs, Rosales said. A thorough assessment of the eligible home is performed including diagnostic and blower door testing to determine where the house is losing energy and what can be done to stop the loss. The auditor will also assess health and safety issues that might exist in the home. A test to determine carbon monoxide leakage is also done.

Minor repairs are made to make the home safer, more sound and secure. Families are counseled as to changes in their energy use habits, which will complement the work done on the homes, and help promote the conservation of energy, she explained. After making the efficiency upgrades, the home could save from 5 to 30 percent on the family’s energy bill.

Based on the home assessment, weatherization repairs may include repair or replacement of old cooling and heating systems, repair or replacement of leaky ductwork, replacement of old or inefficient refrigerators and the addition of sunscreens to sun struck windows. Staff may also be able to assist homeowners with the repair or replacement of inefficient or non operable appliances and water heaters.

Homes needing larger repairs such as roofing, ceilings, floors, window or door replacement, plumbing, electrical or major rehabilitation may not be eligible for the program.

Funding is provided by the Department of Energy and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program through the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy. Utility companies, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project and Southwest Gas Corporation also provide funding for the program. Funding for minor home repairs and appliances is provided by Utility, Repair, Replacement and Deposit funds through Arizona Community Action Agency. CAHRA does not have funding for emergency home repairs or rehabilitation.

Eligibility includes: 1) household must be low income, 2) the home must be owned by the applicant or be in process of purchasing, 3) applicant must have lived in the home for least 12 months. An application must be completed and verification of income, home ownership and other documents must be provided.