Community Housing Partners Recognized as Leader and Innovator in Field of Energy ConservationPosted on Nov 23rd, 2011
Christiansburg, Va. – Community Housing Partners (CHP) is pleased to announce it has received the Virginia Housing Award for Best Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Effort. The award, which was recently given to CHP at the 2011 Governor’s Housing Conference in Hampton, Virginia, recognizes CHP for its “outstanding and innovative efforts to meet the Commonwealth’s complex array of housing needs.”
“We are extremely honored to have received this important award from the Governor’s Housing Conference Partnership,” said Bill Beachy, CHP’s vice president of energy services. “It is a reflection of CHP’s ongoing commitment to create safer, healthier, more comfortable, and more affordable housing for residents across Virginia.”
Since 2003, CHP has been a leader in producing energy-efficient housing and providing training in green property management, building science, and energy efficiency auditing and retrofitting.
In 2011 alone, CHP developed 192 units of environmentally-responsible multifamily housing in two Virginia communities: Linden Green in Christiansburg and Dolly Ann Apartments in Covington. Both rehab projects utilized Low Income Housing Tax Credits are Section-8 qualified with rents that are affordable for families with incomes at or below 60 percent of the median income of their respective localities. They are also EarthCraft-certified and incorporate several sustainable features such as energy-efficient mechanical systems, appliances, and lighting; low-VOC paints and finishes; water-efficient fixtures; ENERGY STAR windows; and the addition of native landscaping.
For the past three years, CHP’s weatherization division has improved the energy efficiency of approximately 800 Virginia homes each year. Improvements include air sealing, adding foam and cellulose insulation, duct sealing, replacing water heaters with more efficient models, and replacing windows and roofs when qualified and funding sources allowed.
Additionally, CHP opened last year a state-of-the-art energy efficiency and training center in Virginia – the New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) – which has already trained more than 4,000 participants. NRCERT is also currently working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to create training modules for multifamily weatherization auditors in order to expand the capability of weatherization providers across the state and the nation.
Thanks to a two-year U.S. Department of Labor Energy Training Partnership grant awarded to CHP in 2010 to develop a green job training program, the resulting CREATES program has provided approximately 500 unemployed, dislocated, and incumbent workers with skills needed in the green construction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy industries. In addition, CHP has recently launched the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2), a nonprofit program helping residents in the Roanoke and New River Valleys save energy, reduce costs, and improve the health and safety of their homes through easy and affordable energy improvements. Initial grant funding for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Energy and is administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.