City of LaGrange Housing Authority wins National Future of Vision Award

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The City of LaGrange Housing Authority recently received the National Future of Vision Award for Green Initiatives from the Southeastern Regional Council of Housing and National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO). SERC-NAHRO is a council that aims to provide housing and community development agencies with education and training to better serve their communities. 

The LHA has been taking the initiative to incorporate green living in every aspect of its business. Ernest Pickett, the Director of Construction for the LHA, said the first project to be transitioned to green energy was Phoenix Way. The homes in that community have energy-efficient appliances, low-volume flush toilets, updated windows with better insulation and Earth Craft materials. LHA is also trying to incorporate the use of solar energy where possible. 

 “We always want to push green energy, anything that can help the community with saving money,” said Chad Cooper, the director of development and marketing for the LHA. “If people can save money, they will have more disposable income to do other things with their families and preserve the planet’s natural resources in the process.”

LHA will continue to add more green-friendly projects to its housing in the future, Cooper said, and has a few projects already in the works. 

“We are looking to build a new community center at Phoenix Crossing,” Cooper said. “One of the plans, if we can make it work, is to have electric carts that the community can check out to drive to the post office, Wal-Mart, and other services at Calumet Park area instead of using their car. I think for the senior population in the area; this will be great for them. Also, we now are a significant partner in the SOUL pilot program, helping people weatherize their homes as well.”

Since 2014, LHA has been partnering with different organizations to gain knowledgeable information about testing homes and what materials to use. Also, in 2021, LHA joined and became a significant contributor to the Save On Utilities Long term program. SOUL, is a pilot program to help low- and moderate-income residents with higher-than-average utility bills by improving energy efficiency. SOUL pays for additional home energy efficiency modifications from attic insulation to new HVAC equipment — providing energy savings on a resident’s utility bill.