The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) goes solar in affordable housing projects
HUD is creating renewable energy partnerships with 27 affordable housing providers and service providers across the nation who “have committed to installing more than 150 megawatts of on-site renewable energy, more than doubling the amount of renewable energy on HUD-assisted multifamily buildings."
HUD lauds the partnerships as a way of creating good jobs, reducing carbon pollution and even reducing energy bills for the providers and residents of affordable housing. Often those who can least afford high utility bills have them because affordable housing is not always energy efficient.
The effort is part of the call to action from the White House Solar Summit and the Better Buildings Initiative. The last is the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) initiative to make buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Also announced at the summit was the Climate Action Plan, executive actions to “bolster investment in energy upgrades in homes and Federal buildings, strengthen appliance standards and building codes and build a skilled solar workforce.” The actions will mean $2 billion spent for energy efficiency in Federal buildings. Smarter appliances will “cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons (equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year). Community-college programs will train 50,000 solar-energy workers.
“HUD is addressing the issue of climate change by creating opportunities and programs for affordable housing owners to take advantage of renewable energy resources, saving energy and money,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Thanks to the leadership of our multifamily partners and developers, we are on track to meet and surpass President Obama’s challenge to reach 100 megawatts of on-site renewable energy on affordable housing by 2020.”
Across the country, HUD partners include affordable housing developers, public housing authorities, financial institutions, and service providers, are choosing to install and use solar energy on affordable and market-rate multifamily properties because it reduces their long-term energy costs and creates jobs that are helping boost local economies. Responding to the President’s call to action on solar deployment, the following leaders made commitments that will install more than 150 megawatts of on-site renewable energy, create jobs and reduce carbon pollution:
- Affirmed Housing Group, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 550 KW of on-site solar..
- Bayview Community Development Corp., a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 400 KW of on-site solar.
- Black Rock Solar, non-profit clean energy organization, has a goal of installing 11 MW of solar across housing and community facilities by 2017.
- Chelsea Investment Corporation, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 6.5 MW of on-site solar on a total of 20 projects.
- Community Advancement Corp., a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 255 KW of on-site solar across a total of 7 projects.
- Community Housing Works, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 3.5 MW of on-site solar across a total of 22 projects.
- Community Power Network is setting a goal of 1 MW of solar installed across 200 projects in DC, MD, and VA by 2015.
- The Core Companies, a multi-family affordable housing provider, will add 1.6 MW of on-site solar across a total of 4 projects.
- Denver Housing Authority recently installed 2.5 MW of solar and continues its commitment of adding solar to every new phase of redevelopment as evidenced by its installation of another 100 kw on Mariposa Phase VI starting construction in the fall of 2014. The housing authority is also developing a comprehensive district wide energy design program for PV and geothermal energy under a micro-utility structure for Denver's 100 acre Sun Valley neighborhood. Shown above is the 2.513 megawatt solar project at Quigg Newton Homes, the location for the first of 668 individual solar installations.
- EAH Housing, a California nonprofit housing development and management corporation, has 3.1 MW of on-site solar in their affordable housing portfolio and is committed to an additional 20 projects – a total of nearly 10 MW.
- Enterprise Community Partners, which facilitates affordable multifamily housing across the country, is announcing a 16 MW target totaling $40 million in investment by 2020 in D.C., Denver, Boston, LA, and Chicago.
- Global Green USA is setting a goal to install 1 MW of solar nationally by 2017.
- GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit organization, will help install 100 MW of solar on affordable single-family and multifamily housing across the country by 2024; GRID Alternatives has also launched a new Tribal Solar Initiative to ensure that American Indian tribes have access to the benefits of solar power.
- Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, through its subsidiary Affordable Community Energy, Inc., a financial innovator providing housing and energy services to low-income communities across the Midwest, is on track to install 600 kW of solar by May and commits to add 530 kW of additional solar by the end of 2015.
- Horizon Development/Preservation Partners, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 450 kW of on-site solar across a total of 2 projects.
- Innovative Housing Opportunities, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 500 kW of on-site solar across a total of 5 projects.
- LINC Housing, a non-profit organization that builds, owns, and operates affordable housing, is committed to installing 826 kW of solar PV across over 1,000 units in California by 2016.
- Mutual Housing California, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 800 kW of on-site solar across a total of 6 projects.
- National Housing Trust, an innovative affordable housing developer and owner in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, will install 400 kW of solar PV and 15,000 therms of Solar thermal this year; in 2015, it will add another 100 kW of PV and 5,000 therms of Solar thermal.
- Standard Property Company, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 2.6 MW of on-site solar.
- Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) and its eleven members joined together to reduce energy and water consumption nationwide by 20 percent by 2020 through their Big Reach Initiative. These efforts have the potential to contribute 500,000 therms and 4 MW of solar PV
- The Reliant Group, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 800 kW of on-site solar across a total of 6 projects.
- Urban Housing Communities, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 300 kW of on-site solar.
- VITUS, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 450 kW of on-site solar.
- Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, a multifamily affordable housing provider, will add 542 kW of on-site solar across a total of 4 projects.
- WinnCompanies, the largest manager of affordable multifamily housing in the nation, has developed over 1 MW of solar and is setting a goal of an additional 4 MW by 2020, focused on Massachusetts and the Northeast.
- Yolo County Housing Authority in California is setting a goal to install 900 kW of solar by 2016.
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