March 30, 2012

Energy Efficient Upgrade Available to Home and Business Owners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, Inc. (NHS) is pleased to announce that the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s EnergyWorks KC program has issued two contracts to NHS totaling $4 million. These contracts are to assist with the financing of energy efficiency upgrades to home and business owners throughout Kansas City, Mo.

These loans are a core component of EnergyWorks KC (EWKC), a $20 million grant received from the U.S. Department of Energy, in helping customers afford energy efficiency improvements. The goal of these loans is to increase the energy efficiency of the improved property by a projected minimum of 15%. “We are really excited to have NHS as one of our lending partners in this venture”, said Jerry Shechter, co-director of EWKC. “It has taken a lot of effort and out-of-the-box thinking to make this project happen”. Loans will be available to homeowners, business owners and renters (with landlord approval).

Two different programs are supported by EWKC. The Interest Rate Buy-down Program (IRBD) is designed to pay the first year of interest on a loan that is obtained from a bank or credit union of the borrower’s choice. “Basically, the property is evaluated with an energy analysis, and the client decides to get the money from a different financial institution rather than NHS”, Jenifer Degen, EWKC contract manager. “After the loan is closed, the work is completed and the energy savings improvements verified, the property owner submits the appropriate forms to NHS, and a check equal to the first years’ interest is sent to the lender to be applied to their loan. It really is easy.”

EWKC also supports a Revolving Loan Fund. Eligible borrowers receive funding from NHS for up to $15,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Repayment periods are for a maximum of up to 15 years. Interest rates will be 0 percent in the program’s targeted neighborhood areas and 3 percent citywide in Kansas City, Mo. Loan underwriting guidelines will be available on the EnergyWorks KC and NHS websites within weeks. “The key to making the loan program viable for NHS is our HomeOwnership Center”, said Mark Stalsworth, President/CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services. “NHS is the only non-profit in Kansas City licensed by the State of Missouri to make loans and service loans. The City doesn’t have licensed loan officers on staff to originate and service loans, so this was a natural fit for us.”

A key partner in the implementation of the EnergyWorks KC program is the Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC). Borrowers interested in obtaining these loans, start the application process at MEC with an energy expert. Executive Director of MEC, Bob Housh stated that there are people ready to apply. “We have been working on this project for a while. Now that the loan funds are ready, our staff is prepared to talk with property owners about accessing the loan fund. They have the option of prequalifying for a loan by going to NHS. Or, they can first evaluate the home with an energy analysis, determine the scope of work, and then go to NHS for a loan to implement the recommended energy efficiency upgrades.”

EnergyWorks KC is a citywide program with an emphasis in seven targeted neighborhood areas. For a map of these targeted neighborhood areas and information on how to start the application process, visit www.EnergyWorksKC.org.

Neighborhood Housing Services is a NeighborWorks® Charter Member, and is located at 5835 Troost, Kansas City, Missouri 64110. Its mission is to revitalize and maintain urban neighborhoods as vibrant areas that attract people who value diversity, historic architecture, security and community.

If you would like to assist with supporting the programs and services offered by Neighborhood Housing Services, donations may be sent to the NHS offices, or through our on-line donation program beginning the first week of April. Please visit our website at www.nhsofkcmo.org for more information about Neighborhood Housing Services programs and services.