St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) Executive Director Bill Lazar has received the Jean Diggs Weatherization Champion Award (WAP) from the National Association for State Community Services Program (NASCSP).
The Jean Diggs WAP Champion Award is presented at the NASCSP Annual Conference to individuals who are champions for the cause of weatherization. The St. Johns Housing Partnership has been a weatherization provider in Northeast Florida since 1998.
“We always want to be at the front end of building industry trends,” said Lazar. “Our weatherization training has always been a key part to our success. Working in hot humid climates has more challenges with mold mildew and indoor air quality.”
The Department of Energy’s Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program administered by SJHP works to increase the energy efficiency of homes owned or occupied by low-income persons by reducing their total residential energy expenditures and improving their health and safety.
“Knowing what to focus on when we have a limited budget makes all the difference in the world,” said Lazar. “I’ve been able to leverage our weatherization funds many times over to reduce the sub-standard conditions in the neighborhoods we serve.”
In 1998, Lazar started as a carpenter in a home repair program with Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida that received a weatherization contract called Florida Fix.
Now, as a residential contractor overseeing a rehab program that currently improves sub-standard housing in more than two hundred households annually, the energy conservation training provides a fundamental baseline for all SJHP projects, according to Lazar.
The SJHP not only rehabs homes but is building new green certified homes and infill rental property for low-income households. Energy and water conservation along with accessibility are the baseline of SJHP green building certifications.
Lazar has built his career around improving sub-standard housing and providing clean, safe, affordable housing. He attributes a major part of that to the training he has shared over the years from weatherization.
The SJHP has earned a statewide reputation with affordable housing advocates due in no small part to the ongoing weatherization training for SJHP construction crews and the result for residents.
For more information on the SJHP Weatherization Program contact the St. Johns Housing Partnership at 904-824-0902 or [email protected]