“Tenants shouldn’t have to be bundled in layers of sweaters.” – Rick Widler
Rick Widler’s 1920s duplex rental home was costing each of his renters upwards of $200 per month to heat in the winter. Rick says that’s too much for his tenants, who qualify as low-income under Section 8 of the Denver Housing Authority.
In addition to high heating costs, the home was uncomfortable to live in due to cold drafts entering through the leaky windows and doors. “My tenants shouldn’t have to run around the house bundled in layers of sweaters in winter time,” Rick says.
Other aspects of the home were also out of date. The window paint was full of lead, the bathrooms had mold problems, the 25-year-old furnace was no longer functioning at capacity, and the roof was in bad condition.
Rick attended a Northeast Denver Housing meeting to learn about ways to improve his house affordably. He didn’t have the means to cover the required upgrades; the roof alone would cost $13,000.
Thanks to a partnership between Northeast Denver Housing, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, Veterans Green Jobs and the Colorado Energy Office, Rick found he qualified to have these services performed at no cost to him. Rick received new windows throughout the house, an energy efficient furnace, a new roof, lead abatement, ventilation fans, a tightly sealed back door, and even a new coat of exterior paint trim. He is happy with the changes – and so are his tenants.
Victoria, who occupies one half of the duplex, says she is usually careful about not turning up the heat too high in the winter, and actually prefers the cooler air. She enjoys using heavy blankets in bed and slippers on her feet. But, she says, this year will be different: “Now I have a brand-new grandbaby in the house, and I need to keep him warm. Either that or bundle him up like a little Eskimo.”
Victoria will also be watching for lower heating bills this winter, thanks to the upgrades. But for her, it’s a question of smart consumer habits and simple math: “The amount of money you spend depends on how much you turn on the heater.” True – but at least she won’t need to place towels at the bottom of leaky doors anymore.
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income-qualified homes with funding from the Colorado Energy Office, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships and Northeast Denver Housing, and with the collaboration of the Denver Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs. Application for Free Home Performance Services /Solicitud de trabajos de climatización