By Brentin Mock – staff writer – A federal program to weatherize homes of low-income families had been a fairly low-budget, low-profile affair in Louisiana. Then the stimulus program came along.
The national shortcomings of the federal stimulus act’s weatherization program were detailed in a Sunday Associated Press story, and a fresh look at local numbers show an equally dismal level of success. The long-running federal weatherization assistance program, financed by the U.S. Department of Energy, pays for low-income households to get home improvements to keep their utility bills low.
After the announcement earlier this week that New Orleans won a $45 million federal stimulus program grant to build a new streetcar line on Loyola Avenue, I reminisced about the role of citizen watchdogs in ensuring that the Regional Transit Authority didn’t capitulate to tourism industry interests that wanted only to apply for a route to service tourists at the Convention Center. It makes sense that the Loyola Avenue line was appealing to federal administrators.