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VEEP Launches to Improve Energy-Efficiency and Increase Affordable Housing Options

***PRESS RELEASE***
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Charlottesville Climate Collaborative and LEAP Invite Charlottesville Rental Property Owners to Take Advantage of Financial Incentives for Energy Efficiency 

Charlottesville, VA – September 9, 2019 

The Charlottesville Climate Collaborative (C3) and the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) are excited to launch a pilot program that will benefit low-income renters, City rental property owners, and our community climate emissions. 

VEEP (Housing Voucher and Energy Efficiency Pilot) is an energy equity and affordable housing initiative that was approved by the Charlottesville Housing Advisory Committee (HAC) in June. This pilot program aims to expand the pool of City rental property owners who accept housing vouchers for low-income residents by offering free-of-cost energy-efficiency improvements to their rental properties, while also lowering renter’s utility bills. This will help keep renters in the City (rather than finding affordable housing elsewhere) and thereby cut emissions from daily commutes. It will also create a more energy-efficient home with lower energy costs for the renter. 

Claire Habel, Program Manager for C3 says, “When it comes to climate change, there are numerous opportunities to develop creative, common-sense solutions that address community needs across the board. With a close look at existing policies and programs, these solutions emerge as win-wins for everyone. VEEP was developed in the spirit of common-sense solutions when we began looking at community housing needs and the City’s housing voucher programs.” 

According to Chris Meyer, the Executive Director at LEAP, “Renters often face higher-than-normal utility bills because it is not in landlords’ interest to invest in energy efficiency and better HVAC systems. In making energy-efficiency upgrades available to these landlords, this pilot will also help voucher holding renters lower their utility bills.” 

This Friday, September 13, from 11:30am-12:30pm at CitySpace on the Downtown Mall, C3 and LEAP will host a Lunch n’ Learn to share the details on how Charlottesville rental property owners can take advantage of this incentive program. Complimentary lunch will be served.

PRESS CONTACT: Claire Habel, Program Manager, Charlottesville Climate Collaborative, at (651) 925-7657 or email claire@cvilleclimate.org or Erin Higgins, Marketing and Outreach Manager, Local Energy Alliance Program, at (540) 407-2412 or email erin@leap-va.org.

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More About VEEP 

When landlords sign up for VEEP, they agree to accept housing vouchers for five years, expanding housing options for community members with vouchers within City limits. Each year the property is rented to someone with a housing voucher, the loan for the energy- efficiency improvements that LEAP staff installs is forgiven for 1⁄5 the total amount borrowed. After five years, the loan is completely forgiven. Program details can be found at www.leap- va.org/VEEP

More About C3 

The Charlottesville Climate Collaborative is a local environmental nonprofit that aims to elevate local climate action with a broad, inclusive, and cross-sector approach. C3’s two programs – the Home Energy Challenge for residents and the Better Business Challenge for nonprofits and businesses – provide climate solutions that are practical, tangible, and quantifiable for all residents and organizations in our community. Additionally, C3 develops and advocates for equitable climate policy solutions for adoption in the City and the County. 

More About LEAP 

The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. As a trusted nonprofit, LEAP delivers direct education and services for improved energy performance that address climate change; create cost savings for families and businesses; enable healthier, safer, and more durable buildings; and bolster local jobs and economic growth. 

Website: www.leap-va.org/VEEP Email: teri@cvilleclimate.org, erin@leap-va.org Twitter: @Cvilleclimate, @LEAP_VA Instagram: Cvilleclimate, @LEAP_VA Facebook: Charlottesville Climate Collaborative, Local Energy Alliance Program 

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