Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent levee failures caused unprecedented devastation in New Orleans. The level of destruction in America's eighth-poorest large city revealed to the world that socioeconomic and environmental injustice make communities vulnerable to climate related disasters.
Months after the worst disaster in U.S. history, tens of thousands of uninhabitable homes sit vacant in New Orleans. So, a holistic program for "greening" New Orleans affordable housing that will:
1 Reduce greenhouse gas
2 Produce enduring improvement in the social, economic and environmental conditions that make communities vulnerable to climate-related disasters
3 Serve as a global model for sustainable redevelopment.
Early results of our first "sustainable redevelopment" project (now being compiled) suggest far-reaching social, economic & environmental impacts:
*Average energy-bill savings: $626/year/home ($93,900 in five years—30 homes)
*Average annual carbon savings: 1,339 pounds/year/home (100.4 tons in five years—30 homes)
*Increased low-income client knowledge of benefits of weatherization (96%)
*Improved indoor-air quality (76% of homes), and improved occupant health (36%)
* Improved client comfort level (88%) & quality of life (71%)
*Increased self-sufficiency (36% are better able to do simple home repairs; 29% are better able to hire and manage contractors)
The $96,737 “Green Weatherization Pilot” will produce five-year energy-bill savings of $93,900 and a local economic boost of $164,382 (a 270% return on investment). Studies show a 700% ROI from weatherizing low-income homes (including all financial & qualitative impacts).