Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Gov. Jerry Brown and Rep. Mike Thompson are involved in separate efforts to boost Sonoma County’s groundbreaking program to help residents pay for energy-saving improvements to their homes.
The highly touted program, which has funded more than $50 million worth of residential projects since it started in 2009, sustained a major setback in 2010 when federal housing officials said it jeopardized the nation’s major source of home mortgages.
While Thompson, D-St. Helena, is seeking to remove the federal roadblock, Brown and state Treasurer Bill Lockyer have created a $10 million fund aimed at offsetting the loan program’s potential impact on mortgages.
Thompson’s legislation went nowhere in 2010 and 2011, but may fare better this year with a new director, a former Democratic congressman from North Carolina, heading the federal agency that sets mortgage policy.