Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: May 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

  • The Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Sector has launched a COVID-19 resources web page with updates on COVID-19 and housing to support housing organizations and help them disseminate critical information to staff and residents in this trying time.

  • HUD has posted the FY 2020 allocations for the Office of Community Planning and Development's formula programs including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA). In addition, HUD has announced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act supplemental funding for the CDBG, ESG, and HOPWA programs.

  • Don’t miss ENERGY STAR’s May 20, 2020 training at 2:00 PM EDT on Tracking GHG Emissions in Portfolio Manager. This webinar will provide a walkthrough of how to track and report your GHG emissions using the EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool.

  • The installation of solar PV on multifamily properties in New York City is a challenge. However, Solar One, WE ACT, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board are bringing solar power to New York’s affordable apartment buildings by working to decrease energy costs for low-income residents while increasing sustainability. They have trained 118 northern Manhattan residents in solar installations, and added solar panels to 13 buildings in the area.

  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition has published a searchable database and map of Multifamily Properties Subject to Federal Eviction Moratoriums that allows renters to identify if their home is covered by the CARES Act eviction moratoriums.

2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Virtual Summit

Better Buildings, Better Plants 2020 Summit graphic

The Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is going virtual!

Register for the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit

Join us online, June 8 – 11, 2020, for timely webinars and peer exchanges with fellow partners, industry stakeholders, and experts. The Summit is FREE for all attendees and will consist of online sessions held over four days. Choose the sessions that interest you during registration.

While we’ll miss seeing you in person, a free and virtual Summit is an opportunity to engage with more partners from across the multifamily sector, including colleagues who have never attended the Summit in the past. Multifamily-focused sessions include:

  • Multifamily Meet-Up
    Monday, June 8, 2020, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
    Join fellow Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily partners, Goal Achievers, and other stakeholders for an interactive session to share best practices, celebrate accomplishments, hear updates from HUD, and discuss strategies for multifamily housing providers to save energy and water and preserve affordable housing. Discussion topics will include financing energy efficiency upgrades and the link between healthy housing and energy efficiency.

  • Multifamily Financing Roundtable: Financing Affordable Housing Retrofits
    Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
    Energy and water efficiency upgrades in affordable multifamily housing can reduce owners’ operating costs and tenants’ utility bills while improving resident health and comfort. This highly interactive session will examine current opportunities and challenges around financing efficiency upgrades in affordable multifamily housing. Panelists will spotlight successful and replicable new approaches and dialogue with participants to identify obstacles. Participants will then split into virtual breakout rooms to begin to develop recommendations and potential sector-wide strategies for lowering pervasive financing barriers that stand in the way of more and deeper energy and water efficiency interventions.
    Speakers: Caitlin Rood, Mercy Housing; Jeff Greenberger, Affordable Community Energy Services; Thomas Deyo, Montgomery County Green Bank; Karyn Sper, Fannie Mae

  • Maximizing Performance in Affordable Housing New Construction
    Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
    How can affordable multifamily housing developers make the most of opportunities to increase performance in new construction? Which green building standards, designs, and techniques should they use? This session will spotlight different pathways to maximize energy performance in new construction while overcoming typical challenges that affordable housing developers face. Hear about lessons learned from electrification in new construction, as well as cutting-edge standards and frameworks for multifamily new construction projects including Passive House, Enterprise Green Communities, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
    Speakers: Krista Egger, Enterprise Community Partners; Michael Hindle, Passive to Positive; Ruchi Shah, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation

Register for the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit

Spotlight on Partner Success

  • National Church Residences provides homes and supportive services for seniors and vulnerable individuals, with a portfolio of approximately 350+ properties in 27 states and Puerto Rico. They established a goal of evaluating all of their properties’ potential for LED lighting retrofit projects and then performing comprehensive retrofits on every property that met certain parameters. Their recently published case study on the Process Standardization for Housing Portfolio LED Retrofits details the process that they developed to identify 184 eligible sites for LED lighting retrofits, including a standardized template and cost-effectiveness test.

  • National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation completed a $7.5 million retrofit of Mass Place Apartments, a 160-unit property in Washington, D.C. Improvements included a high efficiency central plant, insulated roof system, building automation system, LED lighting, water efficiency measures, and air sealing. The organization expects energy savings of 20 percent resulting from the retrofit.

A rending of the Casa Arabella project

National Church Residences' property

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