Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: July 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

  • The Better Buildings initiative has launched a new Workforce Accelerator. This three-year Accelerator will support efforts that raise the level of building science and energy efficiency knowledge in the nation’s building-related workforce. Organizations can become Accelerator Partners by signing a voluntary agreement and identifying an organizational goal to work towards. For more information please contact: BBWorkforceAccelerator@nrel.gov or your Better Buildings Account Manager.

Construction workers

Consider joining the Workforce Accelerator!

  • We are excited to share the launch of the Better Buildings’ IoT-Upgradeable Lighting Challenge. Imagine integrating your lighting system with other smart building aspects – there are many valuable opportunities with Internet of Things (IoT) applications. If you are interested in learning more or would like to show your approval of this concept by signing a letter of soft support, please email LightingChallenge@pnnl.gov.
  • The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has recently published COVID-19 guidance for multifamily building owners and managers. Learn how to reduce the risks of community transmission of COVID-19 in your properties.

Webinar: Combining Energy + Health Upgrades in Multifamily Housing

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

Discover innovative strategies that combine energy and health upgrades to promote resident health and wellness in affordable housing. Panelists will present case studies on partnerships and initiatives with affordable housing providers, hospitals, foundations, and other stakeholders to advance healthy housing initiatives.

Register for the Webinar

Tenderloin Neighborhood Garden

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation's Tenderloin Neighborhood Garden

During this webinar we will:

  • Learn how affordable housing owners and nonprofit hospitals can team up to use hospital community benefit funds for energy + health rehabilitation projects
  • Hear how Enterprise Community Partners, Kaiser Permanente, and affordable housing developers create Health Action Plans to integrate health into the development of housing
  • Learn about Mold Busters, New York City’s Housing Authority’s (NYCHA’s) mold remediation program to find and fix mold’s root causes
  • Share an early experience with Fitwel® certification for multifamily buildings and learn about HomeFree, the Healthy Building Network’s initiative to strengthen material specifications in affordable housing
Register for the Webinar


  • Drew Vernalia is Asset Manager for Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (CSNDC) in Massachusetts, overseeing management and resident life improvements across 19 affordable housing properties.
  • Krista Egger is Director of Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners, managing Enterprise's national green training and technical assistance programs.
  • Neil Steinkamp is a Complex Situations Consultant at Stout, a management consulting and financial advisory firm. He works with NYCHA to implement Mold Busters, its mold inspection and remediation program.
  • Ruchi Shah is Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation’s (TNDC’s) Senior Sustainability Manager, managing TNDC’s portfolio-wide sustainability program across 42 affordable housing sites.
  • Roberto Valle Kinloch is Healthy Building Network’s HomeFree Manager, supporting the affordable housing sector to co-create sustainable practices for selecting healthier and affordable building products.

Spotlight on Partner Success

  • Manhattan Housing Authority (MHA) took an innovative approach to fill funding gaps and navigate a complex regulatory environment for its recent rehabilitation project of Apartment Towers, an 88-unit high-rise building in Manhattan, Kansas. The housing authority’s recently published Implementation Model details how MHA filled funding gaps by securing a HUD-approved Recoverable Grant Agreement through $1 million in bond financing through the City of Manhattan and by applying for a HUD waiver for alternative use of Replacement Housing Factor (RHF) funds.

A rending of the Casa Arabella project

Manhattan Housing Authority multifamily property in Kansas

  • San Buenaventura Housing Authority completed construction of Westview Village Phase I, its $60 million LEED for HOMES Platinum and LEED for Neighborhood Development certified property. This Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) property provides 286 units of affordable housing to low-income families. All 286 rental apartments will have affordability periods of at least 55 years per their Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) regulatory agreements.
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