Published on Thursday, March 21, 2019

City Council approves funding for air conditioners for public housing units built in the 1930s

CONTACT: Victor Landa, 210-884-3429


SAN ANTONIO (March 21, 2019) –The San Antonio City Council unanimously approved funding today to provide much needed air conditioning in some of the oldest public housing units in the country.


The Council's approval funds the purchase and installation of air conditioners in more than 2,500 public housing units on San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) properties that don’t have them.


“These public housing units were built in the 1930’s, well before air conditioning was invented. For decades the most vulnerable families in our city have been living in the past,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee which recommended the funding approval in late February.


“Two thousand, five hundred families in our city including children and the elderly have lived through scorching summers without air conditioning for generations because their housing is old - that is going to change.”


Today’s vote was to allocate $500,000 in CDBG funds that will be leveraged with private and non-profit funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 20 SAHA facilities. The City’s CDBG funds will be matched by SAHA in the same amount of $500,000.


SAHA will work on a short deadline in order to install the air conditioners before the summer - purchasing will begin in March and April with installation finished by the summer months.


According to San Antonio Housing Authority CEO David Nisivoccia, one-third of the residents of the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly and disabled. Those units will be prioritized, followed by families with children.


“This is an excellent example of equity and climate adaptation improving the lives of 2,500 of our most vulnerable residents,” said Councilwoman Sandoval. “Thank you, Councilwoman Gonzales, for your leadership on this initiative.”


“This will help some of our most susceptible neighbors,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “Public housing should not reflect a community’s poverty.”

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