Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: January 2022

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

  • Exterior of an apartment building It’s that time of year again: the Better Buildings Challenge Data Drive! Partners are asked to submit energy performance data (and water and/or waste data if applicable) by Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
  • Watch a recording of our December 16, 2021 webinar, Roadmap to Carbon Reductions in Multifamily Housing. Learn about the challenges and opportunities for reducing carbon in multifamily buildings, and how multifamily organizations can begin to set goals and plan strategies.
  • The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has expanded its income eligibility to include HUD’s means-tested programs’ income qualifications at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income. This will streamline the weatherization eligibility process for low-income households, reducing the burden on both the intake agencies and households trying to obtain services.
  • The Green Lease Leaders program is now accepting applications for multifamily buildings! The program's landlord guide and application have been updated to reflect credit changes for this sector, recognizing the importance of multifamily real estate buildings in achieving national efficiency and climate goals. Apply by March 31, 2022 to be nationally recognized by the Institute for Market Transformation and the DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance!

HUD and DOE Launch New Better Climate Challenge


The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis. To mitigate the impacts of climate change while creating jobs and strengthening the clean energy economy, DOE and HUD are challenging multifamily organizations to set ambitious, time-bound, portfolio-wide operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals to help create pathways to decarbonize buildings nationwide while showcasing their climate leadership.

In November 2021, HUD and DOE announced the launch of a new initiative, the Better Climate Challenge (a separate commitment from the Better Buildings Challenge). Partnering organizations commit to reducing their scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 50 percent within 10 years. By accelerating energy efficiency and other clean energy investments, reporting on progress, and sharing their plans and solutions for meeting their ambitious goals, partners help pave the way for others. HUD works with DOE to support Multifamily Sector partners in this transformative market leadership program through technical assistance, facilitating peer-to-peer learning opportunities, sharing the work of leaders, and highlighting real-world replicable solutions.

Through the Better Climate Challenge, DOE and HUD provide a national platform for organizations to make public commitments, share replicable solutions, leverage technical expertise, and gain recognition. The program builds upon the success of the Better Buildings Challenge and provides value to partnering organizations through:

  • Engaging in Market Transformation with Elite Leaders
    • More than 950 organizations partner with DOE in the Better Buildings Initiative and represent market leaders in nearly every sector, including industrial, commercial, public, education, multifamily, and residential. HUD works with DOE to support multifamily sector partners.
    • Partnering organizations can access this network of technical and industry experts to develop innovative cost-effective GHG reduction solutions
  • Peer-to-Peer Exchange and Technical Assistance Network
    • Access technical assistance through DOE’s national labs
    • Peer-exchange opportunities to learn and share real-world challenges and solutions through webinars, conferences, regional meetups, and other events
  • Recognition
    • National recognition for achieving program milestones and GHG emissions reduction results

If your organization is interested in joining the Better Climate Challenge, please email Multifamily program lead Josh Geyer at to set up an informational call.

Spotlight on Partner Successes

Image of window air conditioner

  • On December 15, 2021, NHT Communities hosted HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm at their Vintage Gardens community in West Baltimore, Maryland. The event highlighted the Biden Administration’s work to help communities lower home energy costs, reduce air pollution, and generate clean energy jobs. Vintage Gardens was one of the first grant recipients of HUD’s Green Retrofit Program in 2011, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). NHT used their $1.5 million grant to invest in weatherization and efficiency upgrades at this 111-unit property. Upgrades included new ENERGY STAR rated windows and appliances, R-49 rated water heater insulation, LED lighting, efficient new heating and air-conditioning systems, air sealing, low-flush toilets, and low-pressure faucets. View the Beat Blog to read more about the visit.
  • In December 2021, Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York Power Authority (NYPA), and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) launched the Clean Heat for All Challenge and issued Request For Proposals to manufacturers. NYCHA seeks development of a unitary, packaged cold climate heat pump intended to be easily installed through an existing window. By leveraging NYCHA’s building portfolio, the Clean Heat for All Challenge is designed to spur innovation by positioning the Authority as an early adopter of this technology, providing public housing residents with access to clean sources of energy. NYCHA is now seeking multifamily housing organizations to submit letters of interest in a packaged window heat pump solution, with the goal of signaling market demand for new products that enable low-cost electrification of heating and cooling in existing buildings. Interested organizations should sign and submit a letter of interest to Jordan Bonomo at
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This material is based upon work supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. Neither the United States Government, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately-owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. Opinions expressed on the HUD Exchange are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, HUD or by any HUD program.