Tucson’s Aging Housing: Sustainable Solutions

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Have you or somebody you know replaced the furnace, the ducting, the electrical service and the water and gas pipes? And, if the house was built in the 40s or 50s, the electrical wiring? If not, it is likely that within the next 15-20 years – you will have to replace them all. Your cost: $20,000 – $30,000. Maybe more.

• 100,000 – the number of Tucson houses over 50 years old – Today
• 200,000 – the number of Tucson houses over 50 years old – in 10 years
• 80% – the percent of houses inside the incorporated City of Tucson that will soon reach the age (about 50) when repair costs often exceeds many owners’ ability to pay them.

Neither the City, County, State nor Federal Governments can afford to pay the Trillions of dollars to repair our old houses. (Nationally, there are 56 million homes that will be at least 50 years old within 10 years.) But it costs several times that much to tear down and replace them. Even adding in maximum energy efficiency upgrades – roofs, walls, window & doors – it is cheaper to repair than replace.

At the July Sustainable Tucson meeting we will explore the needs and opportunities to repair our old houses. How can we train thousands of people to do the work? What needs to be done? And most importantly – how do we pay for it?

• Robert Bulechek (Energy Management Consultant) – Can we make our homes MUCH more energy efficient?
• Scott Coverdale (Community Home Repair of Arizona) – What conditions are our homes really in?
• Chuck Gallagher (SkillsUSA, former construction teacher at Santa Rita High School) How do we teach the workforce we need to make Tucson more efficient?
• Rick Gibson (Sustainability Partners) How do we pay for all this?
• Tres English (Sustainable Tucson) Overview of Tucson’s housing stock

Join us as we begin the conversation about the future and – Keeping the “Roof Over Our Heads”.

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 9th, Doors open at 5:30pm

Where: Ward 6, 3202 E 1st Street, Tucson, AZ.

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Jana Segal
While tending my desert garden, I became a sort of citizen scientist observing the impact of rising temperatures and declining rainfall in Tucson. I’m convinced we need to do everything we can to lessen the impact of climate change now. I share my journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle on my blog Sustainable Living Tucson. That includes blogging about what I have learned about sustainable practices like water-harvesting and clean energy. I am currently writing a play about Tucson feeling the impact of climate change. As a member of Sustainable Tucson’s core team, I help to organize programs on sustainable practices and environmental issues. I was invited to attend the Pima Department of Environmental Quality's Green Infrastructure planning meetings as a citizen advocate – after speaking up at City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings. Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team recently fought the installation of 10 natural gas generators at the Irvington plant. I also rally my friends on social media to become active too by posting Calls to Action from my blog Desktop Activist Tucson.

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