Making multifamily residential properties more energy efficient is a key strategy for reducing the disproportionate energy cost burden facing families on limited incomes. Energy cost burden is the percentage of household income spent on energy bills.
In short time, we will see the Trump Administration’s proposal for next year’s Federal budget. If the “skinny budget” released in March is any indication, we can once again expect dramatic cuts to programs valued by state energy offices, state clean air agencies, state housing finance agencies and public utility commissions. Among the programs the President has proposed to eliminate are CDBG, HOME, LIHEAP, WAP and ENERGY STAR.
EEFA and NEWHAB offer a unique platform for educating the public about the importance of these programs, especially to low-income communities. EEFA partners and NEWHAB members can amplify the successes of these programs through:
- In-state educational meetings/briefings;
- Fact sheets tailored to EEFA states; and
- Attracting media attention by educating/briefing reporters and writing op-eds or letters to the editor.
EEFA and NEWHAB can also serve as a forum for local, state and national organizations that care about these programs to come together, share information, and support each other in defense efforts. For example, we will be creating a place online for the collection of materials and information, and for sharing updates on these issues. There and elsewhere we will gather information, fact sheets, analyses and stories about programs threatened by budget cuts.