‘It’s certainly a load off their shoulders’: Grant funds solar power for new Bend-Redmond Habitat townhomes – KTVZ.com

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity recently received a grant for installing solar panels on a new townhomes project in southeast Bend.

“I’m a lifelong Bend resident, born and raised, and it took me a little longer than usual, but I’m just really excited to finally be owning the property,” Bend resident Brook Yancey said Friday.

Yancy will move into a solar-powered Habitat for Humanity home at the end of the year.

A $60,000 grant from All Points North Foundation is making it possible to bring the potential energy savings to homeowners.

Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity’s CEO Carly Colgan said, “We learned about the All Points North Foundation actually through our solar installer, Sunlight Solar, who helped us and connected us with them.”

The solar panels will be put on the 27th Street Townhomes, which will provide sustainable, affordable homeownership to a dozen local families.

All Points North Foundation provides grants to U.S.-based projects, supporting public middle school education, teacher training and implementing effective solar projects.

Yancey said, “Any funding or grants or subsidiaries that can support projects like these are important and really beneficial, and (I’m) excited to be living in an energy-efficient home.”

The mortgage for the homes is an average of $1,200 and the solar panel energy-based cost for home buyers will be about $35 a month.

Colgan said, “We hear all the time that that our home buyers are excited and really looking forward to the opportunity to own their own home, and to not have to worry about the costs related to the mortgage or the utilities. It’s certainly a load off their shoulders.”

Low- and moderate-income households are disproportionately affected by energy insecurity. Due to housing costs, they often must rent older or under-maintained homes, which causes higher energy consumption.

Molly, a single mom of two kids, purchased her Habitat home this year.

“My last utility bill in my apartment was $208. My new Habitat house is two stories and way bigger than the apartment. I run the A/C and heat as much as I want, and my bill was $14.50,” she said. “That extra money every month makes all the difference ,so you can actually get ahead.”

Bend-Redmond Habitat’s homes are designed with energy efficiency measures and environmental sustainability at the forefront. Utilizing sustainable practices similar to their NW Cottages, Quince Townhomes, and Watercress Townhomes, the new 27th St Townhomes will bring Habitat’s portfolio to 51 Net-Zero or half Net-Zero homes completed since 2021.

“Every system in our homes is designed to optimize energy efficiency,” said Colgan, executive director at Bend-Redmond Habitat. “By starting with an airtight, well-insulated home, and then adding solar power, our homeowners’ utility costs are about $12-35 per month.

“We are incredibly grateful to partner with All Points North Foundation to provide solar for our homeowners,” Colgan said. With the combination of an affordable mortgage and low-cost utility bills, Habitat homeowners build savings, spend money on extra-curriculars, and invest in their children’s futures.

Funding from All Points North Foundation covers the cost to install solar power for all 12 homes at Bend-Redmond Habitat’s 27th St Townhomes community. The homes are deed-restricted to remain permanently affordable, ensuring resale to income-qualified buyers.

“All Points North Foundation is pleased to fund the installation of solar power to Bend-Redmond Habitat homes,” said Joe Ogrinc, director of solar grant partnerships for All Points North Foundation. “The solar installations will not only help families save on their energy bills but hopefully inspire others in the community to harness the power of solar to save costs and positively impact the environment.”

With Habitat’s homeownership program, families & individuals complete volunteer “sweat equity,” participate in financial education, and attend homeownership preparedness classes. When those requirements are fulfilled, prospective buyers purchase their home with a traditional 30-year mortgage.

Habitat leverages grants and fundraising to cover the difference between construction costs and what a working-class household can afford. Each new Habitat home provides a deserving family with a brighter future–with the pride, safety, educational attainment, and wealth wealth-building opportunities that go along with homeownership.

About Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity

Bend-Redmond Habitat builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership for families and individuals in Bend and Redmond.  We are dedicated to changing lives by bringing people together to help make a difference in our communities.  Since 1989, Bend-Redmond Habitat has served 220 families with affordable homeownership and repaired 145 homes, providing more than 1100 children and adults with a safe, secure, and healthy home.

bendredmondhabitat.org (541) 385-5387.

About All Points North Foundation

All Points North Foundation was founded in 2011 by a private family foundation who believes passionately that everyone has a “true North” – a place of achievement – and that everyone should have equal opportunity and access to realize their goals. All Points North Foundation funds grantees in two areas – public middle school education (grades 6-8) and solar energy – that have the power to help communities nationwide navigate upward. For more information, visit allpointsnorthfoundation.org.

Originally Published: https://ktvz.com/news/environment/2023/10/17/its-certainly-a-load-off-their-shoulders-grant-funds-solar-power-for-new-bend-redmond-habitat-townhomes/