BBC Multifamily Newsletter – July 2018

In This Issue:

Key Announcements
Risky Business: New Tools for Addressing Disaster Risk in Multifamily Housing
Spotlight on Partner Successes

Key Announcements

  • Register today for the 2018 Better Buildings Summit, hosted by DOE from August 21-23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. This year, the Summit is co-located with DOE’s Energy Exchange, offering Summit participants additional free technical sessions on energy and green building. Network with leaders in energy and water efficiency across all building sectors and attend valuable sessions in a dedicated multifamily track.
  • It’s here! The Better Buildings team has released the Financing Navigator 2.0, an online tool to help public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
  • Energy Efficiency for All and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute are hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the role of energy efficiency in reducing housing costs. Hear from a panel of experts, including BBC MF partners NHT and Action Housing, who will be discussing federal energy efficiency services and programs that serve low-income households by reducing their energy burden. Register to attend in person or view the live streaming on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
jar filled with one hundred dollar bills

Risky Business: New Tools for Addressing Disaster Risk in Multifamily Housing

New disaster resilience and recovery tools reinforce the importance of assessing the vulnerability of multifamily housing stock to a changing climate. Join us at the Better Buildings Summit August 21-23, 2018 and hear from representatives at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Houston Housing Authority, and Enterprise Community Partners as they discuss strategies for reducing disaster risk across housing portfolios.

New York City street flooding

At last year’s Summit, the Multifamily sector hosted a session titled Keeping the Lights On: Stories from Housing Providers on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery. Highlights included:

Joy Sinderbrand, NYCHA’s VP of Recovery and Resilience Development, made the business case for investing $3 billion in recovery and resilience across its portfolio following the devastating destruction of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Sinderbrand emphasized the importance of communicating across different parts of an agency when implementing large-scale projects. For example, NYCHA’s Capital Program handles procurement for new technologies, but the Maintenance and Operations department is responsible for training its staff to properly maintain them and the Communications department must educate residents on how procurements impact them.

Laurie Schoeman, Enterprise’s Program Director for its National Resilience Initiative, presented Enterprise’s Ready to Respond Tools for Resilience, which includes a staffing toolkit, building retrofit strategies, and over 100 training videos on topics such as disaster preparedness, building infrastructure, and resident engagement. The tools are designed to help housing providers do the following:

  • Communicate and coordinate with residents and external stakeholders during a variety of emergencies;
  • Ensure housing infrastructure can sustain shocks from a variety of emergency events; and
  • Maintain business continuity during an emergency event.

Finally, Judsen Bruzgul, a Principal in ICF’s Climate Change Adaptation Practice, discussed community-wide resilience planning and his work mapping the climate vulnerability of critical utility assets in San Diego. Bruzgul's “lessons learned” include:

  • Integrate climate resilience planning into existing processes and an all-hazards approach;
  • Consider system-level impacts and resilience measures (even when assessing asset-level vulnerability);
  • Utilize maps and other tools to reach varied audiences, drawing on readily available data (asset, climate, etc.) when possible;
  • Use cost-effective and tiered vulnerability assessment approaches tailored to specific decision needs;
  • Consider a portfolio of resilience measures and resilience criteria in addition to traditional costs and benefits; and
  • The resilience of critical infrastructure contributes to the resilience of the supported communities—and vice versa.

Spotlight on Partner Successes

Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation received $800,000 from the Boston Medical Center to improve resident health in 59 of its affordable units. Read more about the national trend of non-profit hospitals investing in healthy housing in the latest Beat Blog post.

Wesley Housing retrofitted a 10-story retirement building, St. Peter Manor, and expects to achieve 40 percent energy savings from energy upgrades like insulated windows and doors, energy efficient appliances, and an upgraded HVAC system. In addition, Wesley installed a 50 kW sollar array and signed a 20-year PPA with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Wesley Housing
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