Barbara Robertson has lived on the Eastside for nearly 50 years. She says the Restore, Repair and Resilience program has transformed her home on Jessie Street. | Will Brown, Jacksonville TodayBarbara Robertson has lived on the Eastside for nearly 50 years. She says the Restore, Repair and Resilience program has transformed her home on Jessie Street. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
Barbara Robertson has lived on the Eastside for nearly 50 years. She says the Restore, Repair and Resilience program has transformed her home on Jessie Street. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

Eastside homeowners get help on utility bills

Published on May 16, 2024 at 3:54 pm

At least 70 homeowners on Jacksonville’s Eastside will see their JEA bills go down, thanks to a partnership between the city, the Historic Eastside Community Development Corp. and LIFT JAX.

The city of Jacksonville and city-owned JEA collaborated to win an $845,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy this spring. The grant provides funding for home energy audits and other weatherization assistance. JEA says those efforts will help homeowners see at least a 10% reduction on their utility bills.

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“This initiative isn’t just about installing insulation,” says JEA Chief Customer Officer Sheila Pressley. “It’s not just about sealing drafts. It’s about investing in our future. Our Repair, Restore and Resiliency project is not just about reducing energy consumption, but about improving health, safety and well being for the people that live here.”

The energy-saving assistance is being offered as part of the Historic Eastside CDC’s and LIFT JAX’s Restore & Repair program, which aims to repair Eastside homes to enable legacy homeowners to remain in safe, stable housing. To date, the program has renovated more than 50 homes.

The organizations celebrated the grant Thursday at a press event between two century-old homes on Van Buren Street.

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Barbara Robertson is one of the homeowners who will benefit. The program will remove the black mold in her house on Jessie Street and install a new roof and air conditioner.

“I’m going to have a brand new home when they are finished,” Robertson said. “Like I say: We gave them ashes and they’ve given us back beauty. And, I can see it. I’m so thankful for this program.”

Robertson says the repairs will allow her to stay in her 1,100-square-foot home and pass it down to her children and grandchildren.

Clarification: The number of homes supported through the program was underrepresented in a previous version of this story.


author image Reporter Will Brown is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. He previously reported for the Jacksonville Business Journal. And before that, he spent more than a decade as a sports reporter at The St. Augustine Record, Victoria (Texas) Advocate and the Tallahassee Democrat. Reach him at will@jaxtoday.org.
author image Reporter Will Brown is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. He previously reported for the Jacksonville Business Journal. And before that, he spent more than a decade as a sports reporter at The St. Augustine Record, Victoria (Texas) Advocate and the Tallahassee Democrat. Reach him at will@jaxtoday.org.

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