WAP Update

We’ve discussed the ARRA Weatherization Assistance Program a few times here at Texas Housers, focusing on perceived shortcomings creating local jobs in the low-income communities served by the program and our take on early news coverage of its “slow start”.

Last week’s Texas Observer had a more up-beat view of the program. In an article titled “Weathering Heights” the Observer said: “To get a more comprehensive sense of the program’s performance, the Observer review dozens of the most recent monitoring reports by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. […]  The reports show that while some areas are struggling with poor workmanship, delays, and paperwork snafus, the statewide program is on track.  At the end of 2010, more than 24,000 apartments, homes and mobile homes had been weatherized, 71% of the 34,000 goal.”

The article goes on to point out the department expects to meet the 2012 federal deadline to expend the funds, and that 30 of the 44 sub-recipients are ahead of federal expectations.  The article ends with a quote from Texas Legal Services Center Executive Director Randy Chapman: “I think it’s been a knockout success.  Of all the stimulus programs, it has been one of the most successful.”

While the Jan 21st Observer article is not available online, a selection of the monitoring reports reviewed by the Observer is available at Forrest Wilder’s blog here.  TDHCA’s WAP webpage, which includes the latest production numbers is available here.  As of 1/31/11, production stood at 26,743 units, or 79% of TDHCA’s goal.  Below is a chart of the TDHCA’s progress since last May towards the DOE Production goal.