Low-Income Households Need Sustainability Too

June 8th, 2011

Duane Yoder ’70 could be dubbed “the CEO of sustainability for western Maryland,” if “sustainability” were understood to mean that all citizens, regardless of income level, ought to be able to live decently. Yoder is president of the Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc., an organization founded in 1965 to address the causes and effects of poverty in Garrett County in western Maryland. Lowell E. Bender ’67 is board chair of this organization.

Duane Yoder

Duane Yoder is a member of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission

This organization now focuses on strategies to assist low-income persons to be more self sufficient, according to its website. It is the largest developer and owner of affordable rental housing in Garrett County. It has more than 180 full-time employees and a net worth exceeding $10 million.
As a result of a grant from the US Department of Energy, “starting this spring [2011] we will install wind, solar and geothermal systems on homes of low-income persons,” Yoder wrote.

In the summer of 2010, the governor of Maryland appointed Yoder to the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. Yoder told Crossroads: “My basic strategy is to work to explicitly include discussion on such issues as equity, health, access to jobs and energy, as well as the environment.  Doing this, I believe, will create a much stronger foundation for building sustainable communities.”

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