Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: March 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

  • COVID-19 and Housing: Help keep your residents and staff healthy. Join the National Housing Conference for their March Restoring Neighborhoods webinar on March 19, 2020 at 11:30 AM EDT to discuss COVID-19 and housing. Hear from experts in epidemiology and public health on the COVID-19 outbreak, how to prevent spreading the disease, and appropriate precautions and contingency planning for property managers.

COVID-19 and Housing Webinar

  • Leaks may look small, but they can add up to big water waste. Register for the Fix a Leak with WaterSense and Beat Water Waste webinar on March 18, 2020 at 2 PM EDT. Learn more about how facility managers can assess their water use with an eye toward finding and fixing leaks. The webinar will also provide information on how you can leverage the WaterSense Fix a Leak Week consumer campaign to engage staff.
  • Register today for the 2020 Better Buildings Summit and reserve your spot at the premiere annual gathering for multifamily housing sector energy savings champions! The Better Buildings Summit, June 8-10 in the Washington, D.C. metro area (Arlington, VA), is an unparalleled opportunity to network and exchange best practices in energy and water efficiency.

2020 Better Buildings Summit

Join our Upcoming Webinar: Innovative Energy Efficiency Financing in Public Housing

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 from 2–3 PM EDT

Energy and water efficiency upgrades in public housing can free up operating funds while reducing tenant utility bills and improving resident health and comfort. However, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) face persistent financial barriers that often prevent them from accessing capital for retrofits. This webinar will review these challenges and present innovative solutions three PHAs have pursued to successfully finance efficiency projects in public housing. Panelists will spotlight successful and replicable approaches that made their projects possible.


Register for the Innovative Energy Efficiency Financing in Public Housing Webinar

During this webinar we will:

  • Discuss the financing gaps and barriers that keep PHAs from realizing greater energy and water savings
  • Hear from three PHA leaders about the innovative approaches they took to navigate HUD regulations and incentives to achieve efficiency savings
  • Learn replicable strategies implemented by both large and small PHAs to finance efficiency projects


  • JoAnn Sutton is the Executive Director of the Manhattan Housing Authority in Kansas
  • Stephen Cea is the Director of the Department of Development, Modernization and Sustainability at the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA)
  • Tina Miller is the Energy Manager at Cambridge Housing Authority in Massachusetts

Spotlight on Partner Success

The Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) in Rockford, Illinois is working with the City of Rockford, Trajectory Energy Partners, and stakeholders to implement a 2MWac community solar project in 2020. RHA is anticipating $10,000 in savings per year for the facility. The project will bring utility bill savings to over 600 low-income families in the Rockford area and bring economic development to the environmental justice community the project is located in.

Rockford Housing Authority Community Solar Project

A Community Solar Project  

Congratulations to BBC multifamily partners Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and the New Bedford Housing Authority on joining the Better Buildings, Better Plants Waste Reduction Pilot. The pilot was launched in 2019 to address the 2.7 billion tons of industrial solid waste and more than 260 million tons of municipal solid waste the U.S. generates annually. DOE is working with an initial group of Better Buildings and Better Plants Partners to collectively set, track, and meet waste reduction goals. Lessons learned will inform how the pilot might be expanded as an option for all partners in the future. Watch a recording of the pilot’s first quarterly call of 2020 to hear a presentation from TNDC on their waste management approach.

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