County to receive stimulus money for home weatherization

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By Alice Du Pont

Dorothy Inman-Johnson, executive director of the Capital Area Community Action Agency Inc., told the Gadsden County Board of Commissioners last week that the county will receive between $1.5 and $2 million from a stimulus package to weatherize homes between 2009 and 2012.

"This is major stimulus money and the program is intended to lower energy bills by making homes more energy efficient and create jobs," Inman-Johnson said.

To put the allocation into prospective, Inman-Johnson said, in the past, all of the five counties in the areas serviced by the agency only got abut $300,000 annually.

"The formula for those who qualify is pretty complicated. The best thing for people to do is call the local Quincy office (875-4250). Priority will be given to the elderly, those with disabilities and families with children under 12. It will also depend on the condition of the home," Johnson said.

According to Inman-Johnson, each unit will be allocated $10,000 or less. Rental property is included. She said she is attempting to partner with other housing programs if the home repairs exceed $10,000.

The agency is currently accepting applications from local contractors in all trades. She said contractors should call the Tallahassee office at 222-2043 and inform the receptionist that they are interested in the program.

"We're looking for general contractors, air conditioning and heating, plumbing and other home-related trades. We're also taking applications for a program manager, weatherization coordinator, housing specialist and employability specialist," she said.