HP Sustainability Solutions’ Growing Role Serving Property Owners in the Decarbonization of Multifamily Affordable Portfolios
By Esther Toporovsky, President, HP Sustainability Solutions
Meeting New York State and City climate goals is imperative for owners of affordable multifamily housing owners. Deadlines loom for compliance with Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and Local Law 97 mandates, with potentially severe financial penalties for non-compliance.
2022 was a year of significant growth for HP Sustainability Solutions (HPSS) working directly with the affordable housing community finding effective and equitable decarbonization solutions for low and middle income housing. The Housing Partnership established HP Sustainability Solutions in 2021 to focus on the intersection of affordable housing and environmental sustainability, an expansion of its traditional role facilitating the creation and preservation of affordable housing for New Yorkers.
HPSS expanded on its partnerships with NYSERDA and NY State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) to include the Wells Fargo Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy and the University of New Hampshire among others, combining our resources to overcome barriers between clean energy and affordable housing.
A major achievement last year was to streamline access to Homes and Community Renewal’s Clean Energy Initiatives (CEI) program, which provides $100 million in clean energy subsidies directly to multifamily affordable housing development projects in New York. These subsidies can be combined with other funding and subsidy programs offered by the state, and do not compete with those for affordable housing development.
In addition to our work with state and city agencies, HP Sustainability Solutions advises owners of affordable housing portfolios on how they can utilize government incentive programs to develop solar power that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from their buildings. HP Sustainability Solutions enables building owners and developers to orchestrate an array decarbonization financial incentives, including those available under the Inflation Reduction Act and from the Climate Friendly Homes Fund.
Inflation Reduction Act incentives for owners of Affordable Housing Portfolios
Beginning in January 2023, The Federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) nearly doubled the Solar Investment Tax credit to 50% for regulated affordable housing. However these significant incentives are only available until 2024, when the solar tax credit drops to 30%. (For more information on the IRA and its impact on solar incentives, look at the webinar HPSS facilitated for our development partners and NYSAFAH.)
HP Sustainability Solutions’ experience and expertise in affordable housing and solar development guides landlords through the technical, financial and regulatory compliance aspects of transitioning to portfolio-scale renewable energy. We can recommend approaches that provide new revenue streams while unlocking clean renewable energy for affordable housing residents. We also work with multifamily residential developers seeking to maximize utilization of clean energy incentives in their new projects
Climate Friendly Homes Fund Community Partner
We advise building owners on accessing financial incentives through the Climate Friendly Homes Fund (CFCH). The CFCF provides subsidies to unregulated and/or small affordable housing properties (5 to50 units) to electrify HVAC and domestic hot water systems. Funds are available as forgivable subordinate loans that can cover the full range of electrification. This is an important incentive for property owners facing a 2030 deadline of shifting away from fossil fuels for heating and cooking.
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