St. Petersburg makes $300,000 seed grant to support sustainable home improvement
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (9 Nov. 2017) — The non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund is excited to announce a major new partnership with the City of St. Petersburg to enable SELF to establish a satellite office in the city and hire a full time staff person to assist local residents.
The City of St. Petersburg is a national leader on clean energy, sustainability, and financial inclusion, and was the first local government in Florida to join the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign and pledge to power the community with 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman said, “The City is creating a roadmap to achieve our long-term sustainability goals, and we are working towards 100% clean energy to ensure that St. Pete remains a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play.”
City Council Chair, Darden Rice, added, “St. Pete’s commitment to sustainability and resiliency shows we lead the way in strategic economic development, smarter infrastructure investments, long-term planning, and measurable quality of life improvements for everyone. It enhances the identity of our city and tells the world we are serious about clean energy solutions.”
SELF is a unique community-based lending organization focused on financing sustainable home renovations that help rebuild and empower low- and moderate-income communities. SELF provides homeowners with access to low-cost financing for energy efficiency upgrades, clean energy alternatives, and wind resilience. To date, SELF has helped more than 700 families finance $6 million in home improvement projects in 63 jurisdictions in Florida, with more than 2/3 of the lending activity in low- and moderate-income census tracts, 50% for seniors, 40% for women, and 20% for veterans. SELF also helps local general contractors and energy companies finance more projects at a reduced cost.
SELF’s Executive Director, Doug Coward, said, “Our mission-driven lending programs help underserved and underbanked communities gain access to microloans with favorable interest rates to finance sustainable home improvement projects.”
SELF’s Chief Financial Officer, Duanne Andrade, added, “SELF is helping low wealth and working class neighborhoods increase home equity, storm resilience, comfort, and livability, while also reducing operating costs and reliance on predatory lenders.”
The City has committed BP Oil Spill settlement funds to develop an Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, as well as a seed grant for SELF to establish service in St. Pete. SELF will also leverage city resources with several million dollars in low-cost loan capital from faith-based organizations, banks, and private investors in order to finance a minimum of $3 million of sustainable home renovations in the city over the next 3 years.
Sharon Wright, Sustainability & Resiliency Manager for the City of St. Petersburg, said, “The City is taking major steps toward mitigating climate change and framing resiliency around social equity and economy, and SELF will help poor and working class families participate and benefit from these initiatives and opportunities contributing to our overall resiliency efforts.”
For more information about the City of St. Petersburg’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, please call (727) 551-3396 or visit https://www.stpete.org/sustainability/building_energy.php