Ciresi introduces legislation to provide for sustainable community safe houses

HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced H.B. 2321, which would provide grant money to build sustainable community safe houses so that residents would have shelter in case of natural disaster.

“This past year, many families in our communities have been left without shelter in the wake of serious storms like Ida,” Ciresi said. “Our residents need to have somewhere to go when their homes have been damaged by floods, wind or other types of natural disasters that we’re increasingly seeing in Pennsylvania.”

If passed, H.B. 2321 would allow counties, municipalities and councils of governments to apply for grants to develop and maintain community buildings powered by and storing green energy. Grants of up to $250,000 would be issued to create emergency systems and centers, sustainably and reliably backed up by renewable energy, that would be there for our communities in their time of need. Money for these grants would be appropriated to the already existing State Sustainable Energy Fund to help get these projects off the ground.

As they would be powered by renewable energy backup systems, Ciresi said these sustainable community safe houses would remain operational even when the power in the community goes out. Volunteers would be able to plug in refrigerators and fans, residents could charge their cell phones, and all sorts of other needs could continue to be met.