New program helps more Michiganders weatherize houses

Photo of Chris Carr
A man prepares to weatherize windows.

A man prepares to weatherize windows.

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is helping Michiganders weatherize their homes with assistance from the federal government.

MDHHS has received $5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program to help Michiganders repair their homes so they will be eligible for weatherization. Homes that are in a certain state of disrepair may not be able to utilize weatherization funds, so the state of Michigan is looking help make sure that these homes can take advantage of such opportunities.

“High energy costs can cause families to fall behind on their utility bills or be forced to pay their energy bills with money that could otherwise be spent on nutritious food or other needs,” MDHHS Director Elizbeth Hertel said in a statement. “No one should be ineligible for cost-saving weatherization assistance due to costly needed repairs."

The weatherization provided by the program could save Michiganders an average of $283 per year. Some of the conditions that could lead to a funds being used on repairs are mold and moisture damage, electrical issues, grading issues, roof damage, structural issues, plumbing issues, ventilation issues, asbestos issues, pests or radon. Repairs, improvements and reconstruction to combat these issues can be funded by the program.

The program was announced following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declaring February as Keep Michigan Warm Month.

“Many families have suffered financial hardships due to the pandemic and have put off maintenance that needs to be addressed before their homes can be weatherized,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I urge these families to take advantage of these new services that will lower their costs and keep them warm.”