Improving Affordable Housing for Bronzeville Seniors
The Willa Rawls Manor Apartments provide vital affordable housing to seniors in Bronzeville. In 2018, owners of the apartments worked with Elevate Energy on an initial energy assessment and completed upgrades to lighting in common areas of the property.
A change in ownership in 2019 led to new opportunities for the property. The new owners learned about the rebates available to multifamily properties through their contractor, Gleason & Elfering Heating & Air Conditioning. After connecting with Elevate Energy, the new owners decided to invest in capital improvements at Willa Rawls.
The hot water heater at the property was replaced and upgrades were completed on the heating and cooling systems at the property. Elevate Energy’s team provided expertise and guidance throughout the process, including helping them secure $134,838 in incentives from the ComEd and Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Programs to assist with the cost of the improvements.
“You guys sent out an engineer to make sure that the equipment was right and that I would be getting the efficiency and equipment that I needed and wanted — I had no way of doing that,” said Renee Johns, property manager at Willa Rawls. “I felt like with your expertise I got exactly what I needed.”
These capital improvements will improve the longevity of the building while increasing comfort and lowering utility bills for tenants who are often living on a fixed income. Additionally, these improvements help reduce operating costs, which can help owners avoid raising rents and keep housing affordable. The upgrades are expected to result in $12,853 in estimated savings annually.
“I felt like I had somebody looking after my best interests,” said Johns. “Because of you guys, I feel confident that I have what I need at the building.”