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Sustainable South Bronx

“People who are undocumented.. have to actually come forth and sign off on paperwork that's going to go to the federal government.” Sheila Somashekhar, Underdome Interview

Greenway and Green Building Coordinator Sheila Somashekhar explains how city and state energy initiatives work with South Bronx residents.  “In a neighborhood like Hunts Point there are a lot of things that are informal... Even when you're talking about a small home—a one to four unit home, that is technically eligible for all these different programs—systems are set up to require certain kinds of documentation and information from the home owners and the people who live in the building that make it difficult or even impossible to enroll in these programs. 

“We had a to do some outreach for the weatherization assistance program as part of our job training program.  They required income documentation for each of the tenants in the building, which means that they have to get a formal paycheck, or get a notarized statement that they have X income. It means that people who are undocumented and living in these buildings have to actually come forth and sign off on paperwork that's going to go to the federal government.  Sometimes you don't want to provide your social security card number, or you don't want to provide all this other information that's really not relevant in a lot of ways.” Sheila Somashekhar, Underdome Interview
 

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