Press Release

Welch Leads Colleagues in Requesting Robust Funding for Energy Efficiency and Climate Resilience in Housing Programs

May 20, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) last week led a group of senators in calling on Congress to provide robust funding for energy efficiency and climate resilience investments across the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act.  

Climate resilient investments, such as those that go towards elevating structures, reinforcing roofs, and utilizing fire resistant materials, decrease the cost of repairing buildings and structures after a natural disaster. Congress has appropriated such funding for HUD since 2017, including the Indian Housing Block Grant program and the Choice Neighborhoods program.  

The letter was sent to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and was signed by Sen. Welch and Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). 

“As you know, energy efficient and climate resilient investments are essential to bringing American housing into the 21st century. During 2023 alone, a record 28 natural disasters—from severe flooding in Vermont, to catastrophic wildfires in Hawaii, to heavy hailstorms in Minnesota—caused roughly $93 billion in damage and, tragically, 492 fatalities. Investing in energy efficient and climate resilient housing programs is a critical tool to help our communities respond to our changing climate and climate-related disasters in the years to come,” wrote the lawmakers

“Congress should continue to provide funding for HUD to reduce the agency’s utility costs and further energy efficiency efforts in its assisted and financed properties. These investments fuel much-needed improvements in HUD’s housing stock, such as weatherization, installation of better-performing HVAC, and upgrades to energy efficient household appliances. These efforts can also reduce America’s carbon footprint,” continued the lawmakers. “Through targeted investments, the agency can simultaneously eliminate energy waste in its housing stock and meaningfully cut back on the country’s overall consumption of fossil fuels. We ask that you support our request to invest in our communities and provide HUD with the funding it needs to achieve the agency’s energy efficiency and climate resiliency priorities.” 

Read and download the full letter