For Immediate Release
October 06, 2004
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Initiative Helps Keep Seniors Warm with New Furnaces
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined KeySpan Energy Delivery President Nick Stavropoulos and Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) President Bob Coard to announce the new "HeatWorks" senior winter preparedness program. The new initiative was created by the Department of Neighborhood Development's (DND's) Homeowner Services division in conjunction with KeySpan and ABCD in an effort to better keep elders warm during the cold winter months.
|Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Action for Boston Community Development President Bob Coard talk with Parkside Drive resident Grace Brown, who received a free new furnace installed in her house as part of the Department of Neighborhood Development's new HeatWorks program. The new program, a collaboration with KeySpan and ABCD, provides seniors with heating assistance before the cold weather sets in.|
"I am so happy to be here today to kick off this important program for our senior citizens," Mayor Menino said. "It's time to prepare for winter, and there's no better way to help our seniors and ensure they stay warm than to replace a faulty furnace. I want to thank KeySpan and ABCD for partnering with the city on this program."
Today's announcement took place at the Jamaica Plain home of Grace Brown, an elderly homeowner who lost her life's savings due to medical problems and is struggling to make ends meet on Social Security. Ms. Brown received a free, new, high- efficiency heating system that was installed in her home today as part of the HeatWorks initiative.
"This partnership with the City of Boston to support struggling senior homeowners in preparing their homes for the upcoming winter season is a KeySpan priority," said Nick Stavropoulos, president, KeySpan Energy Delivery. "Making critical repairs or replacements are best right now-- before we're in the grips of winter and before an emergency arises."
The HeatWorks program is part of Mayor Menino's Leading the Way II housing initiative and aims to keep elders safe and secure in their homes. It provides heating system repair and replacement services to income- eligible senior homeowners in the City of Boston. Staff assess the heating needs of seniors during warmer months to help reduce heating emergencies during cold-weather months. The program is also expected to reduce the costs associated with these repairs by incurring them during the off- season.
"I want to thank Mayor Menino and KeySpan for their outstanding support of this important energy saving program that enables ABCD to repair and replace deficient heating systems and weatherize homes of low- income and elderly Boston-area residents," said ABCD President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Coard. "In addition, NStar's assistance has been vital in keeping utility bills down for seniors and others in need. With rising energy prices, this winter will be harder than ever for low-income families who are forced to spend a huge percentage of their incomes to heat their homes. Often they end up sacrificing food and medicine in order to stay warm.
|Parkside Drive resident Grace Brown thanks Mayor Thomas M. Menino and officials from KeySpan and ABCD for a free new furnace installed in her house as part of the Department of Neighborhood Development's new HeatWorks program.|
"Studies show that conservation improvements save 25-35 percent on winter heating bills, and last winter ABCD provided more than 1,800 families with weatherization and heating system services," Coard continued. "We are grateful to Mayor Menino and KeySpan for their significant support of these efforts as we all work together to assist the thousands of elderly, disabled and low-income residents who desperately need help getting through the bitter New England winter."
In addition to a new furnace, HeatWorks eligible participants may receive:
- An ABCD energy audit;
- Weatherization and insulation
- Technical assistance from DND
- Other heat related repairs;
- Grants and 0% interest deferred loans.
Eligible homeowners include occupants of residential one- to four- family properties in the City of Boston who are 60 years of age and older and whose income does not exceed 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). An approved licensed and insured contractor will perform all work.
For more information about HeatWorks, call 617- 635-0338.