CNT partnered more than a year ago with Evanston Development Cooperative and other groups to create the new Green Homes pilot program in two Evanston communities. It uses public funds to provide home upgrades free-of-charge. Evanston is one of the first communities in the country to launch a program like this. Homeowners and residents of the pilot program's focus neighborhoods can find out if they are eligible and apply on the new program portal at greenhomes.cnt.org.
Evanston set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. With 80% of city’s greenhouse gases come from buildings, these upgrades – from new windows to solar panels to lead pipe replacement – can help the city meet its goal.
The Green Homes pilot will lead to better-quality homes, local jobs and economic development, and is targeted to help Black and Brown communities while reducing greenhouse gases citywide.
“With 80% of greenhouse gases in Evanston from buildings, these ARPA funds are a step toward being carbon neutral by 2050. But the federal funds won’t pay for customer service, and to succeed long-term we need people to have a positive experience they will recommend to neighbors."
- Robbie Markus, Evanston Development Cooperative co-founder and general manager.
In addition to the climate impact of net-zero home improvements, free repairs will help retain and create affordable, quality homes for Evanstonians, spur economic development by providing work for local contractors and address racial justice by targeting repairs to historically under-invested and redlined neighborhoods.
CNT is providing overall coordination for the project, which also brings together several partners including:
- Community-owned design-builder Evanston Development Cooperative (EDC) will be the main point of contact. EDC’s worker-owners and members will do contracting work such as framing carpentry, electrical and HVAC, concrete, and other services.
- CNT and EDC have partnered with Family Focus Evanston and Latinos en el North Shore, LENS to conduct focus groups and do community outreach.
- Elevate Energy will assess and quality-control retrofit projects, and work with CNT on program design, scaling the Green Homes model and evaluation.