Minority-owned business C & R Housing has been making drafty old Buffalo homes more weather tight and energy efficient for over 40 years.
Headquartered out of the former Iroquois Brewery building on Pratt Street, they’ve hired seven new employees in the last three months to conduct residential energy audits and energy efficient improvements in houses across the city. They expect to weatherize more than 100 houses this year.
Energy upgrades are funded by the state of NY’s EmPower & Home Performance with Energy Star program. Income qualified homeowners and tenants have been cashing in on lower energy bills though partially or fully funded weatherization measures.
“I live on the east side and I’m pretty excited to be part of making improvements to homes in this part of the city, and beyond,” exclaimed Donald Holloman, a recent crew chief leader hired by C&R. “We’ve seen savings of up to $1000 a year.”
Savings like that can make a big difference to household budgets where in Buffalo and across America energy and utilities are the third largest monthly expense after housing and transportation according to sources such EnergyStar.gov
Rocket Home Mortgage reports that New York residents spend an average of $477 per month on their utilities. In many older homes with little or no insulation like those throughout Buffalo, that figure can be much higher.
While employees like Donald enjoy saving homeowners money, they’re also pleased to be making money doing it in energy efficiency-related jobs involving insulation, air sealing and carpentry. “During this economic downturn we’re growing our eastside workforce and we are positioned to hire more people. Right now we have immediate openings for energy auditors and a NATE-certified HVAC technician” reports C&R’s Regional Sales and Distribution Manager, Ellen Shareef. “It’s a great opportunity for a recession-proof career.”
C&R has been upgrading Buffalo’s infrastructure for decades. In the 1990s C&R was building energy efficient new construction homes. They’ve been insulating and weatherizing homes ever since, having done hundreds of energy audits on small buildings across Buffalo as a Building Performance Institute-certified contractor with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
In 2009 they assisted television’s Ty Pennington implement the first waste recycling of demolition debris on his show, Extreme Home Makeover. This project was also the first drywall construction waste recycling project in NY State. Together, C&R’s efforts helped divert over 75% of the project’s waste from area landfills.
C&R’s latest endeavor is seeking industrial and commercial “makers” needing affordable warehouse, fabrication and creation space. C&R is partnering to incubate creative makers, doers and producers in a dedicated portion of their 90,000 SF east side facility.
C & R founder Jabril Shareef described “We are accepting applications of interest for the right mix of innovative small and micro businesses who make things with equipment, tools and their hands--to use our warehouse space, some small offices, and small, flexible maker spaces.” C & R hopes to provide an energetic business environment, affordable rents, flexible leases, and potential business coaching and other on-demand services to help grow entrepreneurial lines of business for existing companies, and new products to market for emerging and even home-based enterprises looking to take things to the next level.
Jabril is not only limiting his outreach to his own deep network of contractors and other makers and doers in the building-related trades. He is also open to other ideas for fabricators, builders, producers and creators of all kinds. “Apply with your idea. We have the space. We want to build a hub of activity” he said.
Residential building owners interested in energy savings upgrades, job seekers and potential space leases can learn more at http://www.candrhousing.com or 716.827.3556.
LINK TO HI RES VERS of PHOTO: https://tinyurl.com/HollomanHiRes