Free heat relief for low-income residents



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Posted on June 15, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 15 at 6:47 PM

ARLINGTON — Muriel Brewster, 93, lives on a Social Security allowance of less than $1,000 a month.

As insurance and utility bills rose, she turned her air conditioning up to 80 degrees, and cut back every place she could. 

Brewster even stopped tithing, which she says hurt more than all the other cuts. 

But now she's getting some help from the federal government's stimulus program.   The City of Arlington received a million dollars to weatherize the homes of low-income residents. 

So far, only half that money has been spent.

This week, contractors hired by the city descended on Brewster's central Arlington home.  They sealed or replaced leaky windows, doors and air conditioning ducts, and added 13 inches of attic insulation.  

Brewster said she resisted taking government help for a long time.  "My pride stood in the way," she said.

But now, she's glad she applied.  

Some other residents who have already had their homes weatherized say they are saving significant amounts of money.  

Several cities — including Dallas and Fort Worth —   have similar programs for low-income residents.

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