Residents in 20 public housing communities in San Antonio will soon have heat relief after City Council approved the use of $500,000 to install window air conditioning in about 2,500 apartments. That works out to a cost of about $200 per unit.
The City’s funds will be part of a $1.5 million partnership with the San Antonio Housing Authority’s $500,000 funding, the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation’s $300,000 contribution and the San Antonio Housing Trust Foundation’s $200,000 funding.
“All residents, especially our most vulnerable, need a safe place to live and avoid the potentially deadly summer heat,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “I am glad to see the City taking steps to provide safety and a better quality of life. I also want to thank the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation for supporting the effort.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not mandate air conditioning, and does not provide housing authorities with funding to purchase A/C units, the city said. Many of the city’s public housing communities were built in the 1930s and 1940s and did not include air conditioning.
“Generations of San Antonians have lived through scorching summers in ill-equipped, deficient housing,” District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said. “Today’s vote begins to correct that problem by providing the decent quality of life that all other residents of our city enjoy. I’m encouraged by today’s action, and I’m sure the families who live in the units with no air conditioning are relieved that help will arrive soon. Poverty does not mean people should live in sub-standard housing.”