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Mancos public housing warms up with new heating system

A fundraising campaign has successfully raised $35,000 to upgrade heating systems at Menefee Apartments in Mancos, a subsidized housing complex that serves low-income elderly and disabled tenants. (Courtesy photo)
Fundraiser needed to upgrade heat at low-income Menefee Apartments

A fundraising campaign to replace a broken heating system at the low-income Menefee Apartments in Mancos has reached its goal.

Energy Outreach Colorado raised $35,141 to upgrade and fix apartment heating systems, according to a Oct. 8 press release. The 12-unit public housing complex serves low-income elderly and disabled tenants.

A $15,000 donation came from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. The fundraising campaign began in July.

“With the help of our partners at CHFA, and caring individuals across the state, we are able to make the heating system improvements for Menefee Apartments and ensure the well being of the residents,” said Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado executive director, in the news release.

The apartment’s heating system was outdated and had only been functioning at 50%, said Denise Stepto, chief communications officer for Energy Outreach Colorado, in an interview in July.

The inadequate boilers are being replaced with high-efficiency furnaces in time for winter.

The apartment has had a series of repairs recently, including a roofing project that wiped out the maintenance budget, Stepto said. The fundraising campaign was seen as a better solution than increasing rent for low-income tenants who live on a fixed income.

Menefee Apartments offers subsidized, low-income apartments for elderly, handicapped and disabled residents who qualify.

The apartments are provided by the USDA Rural Development and are managed by the Housing Authority of Montezuma.

There are very few affordable housing options in the county for people living on a lower and/or fixed income, stated Energy Outreach Colorado, and it was critical to raise the money needed so residents could remain safe and warm this winter.

“The project will preserve important affordable housing in Montezuma County and provide reliable home energy for vulnerable Coloradans” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.