West Central Minnesota Community Action housing auditors Toby Weigand (l), Gene Wyttenback (c) and the agency's coordinator Janelle Bennett (r). (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

The successful efforts of West Central Minnesota Community Action in rehabilitating a Breckenridge home to make it safer and more energy efficient has gotten attention at the State Capitol and even in some halls of Congress. The agency is the approved lender for the Rehabilitation Loan Program and the Emergency Accessibility Program through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and lends for Wilkin, Grant and Traverse Counties. Three members of the agency were recently on the KMRS Community Connection to explain how they can help fix a home by working on plumbing, elecrical, wiring and accessibility upgrades.

In the case of the Breckenridge home, Housing Auditor Gene Wyttenback said a combusion analysis of the furnace found dangerously high carbon monoxide levels. A crack in the heat exchanger was discovered.

“After we took care of the furnace, we were able to come back into the house,” Wyttenback explained. “We mitigated the vermiculite insulation, we airsealed the entire home, reduced it by 30 percent infiltration. We insulated the attics, the walls, the rim insulation, we installed LED light bulbs, pipe wrap, we installed a new bath fan, dryer venting, a lot of health and safety items — and we also installed new smoke and CO detectors.”

The Breckenridge client will “definitely see savings in the home,” said Wyttenback, who noted the homeowner referred to his group as “godsends.” Every County has a lender for such programs. Those who would like more information on either the Rehabilitation Loan Program, Emergency Loan Program or Weatherization Assitance may contact WCMCA Coordinator Janelle Bennett at 218-685-7003.

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