York Housing Authority has plans for federal funds, energy upgrades

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Aug 21, 2013 12:19 PM

(York) -- The Housing Authority of the City of York is one of several organizations in line for federal money to improve public housing, but the White Rose City's plans for the cash are slightly different than those at similar agencies.

Each year, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development awards millions of dollars from the "Capital Fund Program" to Pennsylvania housing authorities to make major improvements to their units.

York's share is about $1.14 million this year.

Because the housing authority is currently involved in a separate, major initiative upgrading energy systems, like furnaces and air conditioners, its capital fund money will be used to offset budget cuts and pay down some debts.

Interim Executive Director Craig Zumbrun says installing more efficient systems will cut back on costs.

"The work that we're doing behind the scenes to create this energy savings will allow us, in the end, to improve so many systems that it will help ease the burden of some of our maintenance of some of our old systems that we now have in place," Zumbrun explains.

He says private financing would pay for the upgrades, with the cost being offset by utility savings over time.

An audit of the authority's energy use is being conducted by experts from the Denver Housing Authority, which has completed a similar process in Colorado.

The York authority has more than 1,000 housing units in 55 buildings across the county.

Other midstate housing authorities are also receiving millions of dollars in funding from HUD.

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