The Freeport Housing Authority houses hundreds of residents, looking for low costs of living. To make that even more available, FHA received a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Public Housing Authority Energy Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
"This particular round, the grant, we're going to focus on replacing furnaces and lighting and things like that," says Larry Williams, Executive Director of the Freeport Housing Authority. "Previously, we focused on energy efficiency appliances, like refrigerators, pee tank units, and those sort of things. But this year, we'll focus more on the the bigger items, to reduce our energy footprint."
Williams says it's his goal to educate residents on "going green" efforts. The grants come in different chunks, and in total, FHA hopes to receive about $450,000. Don Beckington, a resident at FHA, notices the changes.
"My bills have gone down most minimal really to live here," Beckington says. "I mean I shouldn't say they get a lot of renters, but it's gone down, minimum $20 a month, just for electricity."
He's been living in the apartments for seven years and says his new upgrades are wonderful.
Upgraded bathrooms, energy saver air conditioners, and energy efficient refrigerators.
"Oh I think it's a wonderful thing that they're doing," Beckington says. "It means a lot to me and to all of the residents that we have here. There's 120 apartments here, and everybody has to notice the cost is going down."
Larry Williams hopes to continue the improvements in the future, aiming for more grants in the next few years.
"We really try to focus on being good for the environment, and it also helps our residents as well, so very excited," Larry Williams says. "Hopefully we get a fourth and a fifth year so we can continue the improvements."