Friday, March 27, 2009
252-million federal stimulus dollars are being directed toward a program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The Weatherization Assistance Program upgrades homes of lower income commonwealth residents with insulation and ventilation. The goal of the program is to cut back on home heating costs. Acting DCED Secretary George Cornelius told House Appropriations Committee members this week the federal boost will lead to a major expansion of the $30-40 million program. He says, “Obviously when you're gearing up from 30 to 40 million to 252 million, on top of the 30 to 40 million, we've got a lot more people involved in this.” Cornelius says training for the program right now is only available in Williamsport so the first dollars spent will go to opening new training facilities. The department will also be expanding eligibility limits. Right now, residents making up to sixty percent of Pennsylvania's median salary can take part. That figure will expand to 200 percent. Federal law requires the higher limit.