Legislature sends Jansen bill to help homeowners with energy costs to governor
LANSING — Legislation sent to the governor Friday would add improvements for increased energy efficiency to the list of approved purposes for Michigan Individual or Family Development Accounts, said Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township.
“The IDA program currently helps low-income Michigan residents realize their dream of buying their first home,” Jansen said. “Home heating and energy costs are on the rise. By adding qualified home improvements, more Michigan residents will be able to reduce their energy costs and maintain the quality of their homes.”
Currently, the IDA program gives low-income earners an opportunity to save for the first-time purchase of a home, continuing their education, or for business start-ups. The program, founded in 2000, also allows the accounts to receive matching funds from public or private sources.
More than 900 Michigan residents have used IDAs to purchase a home. Donald Jones, resource development director with the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, testified before a House committee that to date only six IDA participants have lost their home through foreclosure, or less than 1 percent.
According to the federal Office of Community Services, the Michigan model is regarded as one of the most cost-effective and efficient program models in the country.
Under Jansen’s bill, Senate Bill 1636, qualified home improvements would include the purchase and installation of any qualified energy star product intended for residential or noncommercial use such as windows, doors, insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and any appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers and refrigerators.
“I ask the governor to act quickly and sign my bill into law,” Jansen said. “This measure can help residents all across the state make home improvements and see energy savings.”
SB 1636 now awaits the governor’s signature.
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2008
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