Housing Options for Aging in Place (HOAP) Workgroup is one of the initiatives of Age-Friendly Buncombe County. The vision of HOAP is “All older adults living in Buncombe County have the ability and choice to age in place in order to remain safe, well, and engaged in their communities.” HOAP meets monthly. There are three subgroups within HOAP: 1) Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Group, which is working on bringing awareness to ADUs to meet the demand for affordable and accessible housing; 2) Age In Place Group, which is working on Age In Place resources to inform the community; and 3) Home Repair and Home Access Group, which is working on leveraging resources for home repair and affordable housing as well as bringing attention to the needs of housing for older adults across the county.
The Home Repair and Home Access Group was recently started in January 2023. One of the partners in the Home Repair and Home Access Group is Community Action Opportunities (CAO). Community Action Opportunities is one of many community action agencies in geographically designed areas across the United States that were created by the federal government in 1964 to fight poverty. The mission of Community Action Opportunities is: “We help people who live on limited resources transform their lives.”
At the first meeting, James Duncan, Weatherization Program Manager, informed the group that Community Action Opportunities was seeking more applicants for their Weatherization and Heating/Air Repair and Replacement (HARRP) Programs. Both programs make homes safer and more energy efficient. The Weatherization Program improves homes by performing some of the following: testing the safety and efficiency of the primary heating system; air sealing walls, floors, and ceilings; insulating attics, floors, walls, pipes, heating ducts, and water heaters; testing and installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors; and even replacing old refrigerators that consume too much energy. The Heating/Air Repair and Replacement Program (HARRP) repairs or replaces defective, non-functioning heating and air systems in homes.
Eligibility for the Weatherization and HARRP Programs include:
Households living at or below 200% of the federal guidelines
Families receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and/or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/ food stamps) during the prior 12 months from application for weatherization are categorically eligible
Priority is given to older adults, disabled individuals, homes with young children, and those with a high energy burden
Being a resident in Buncombe, Cleveland, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania counties
Eligible applicants are required to provide proof of income for all household members, property ownership (whether owned or rented), and proof of energy usage for the past 12 months.
If you know of anyone that could benefit from the Weatherization or Heating/Air Repair of Replacement Programs, please call 828-252-2495 to request an application or click on https://communityactionopportunities.org/weatherization/ for an application or more information.