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NYS Homes and Community Renewal & Community Preservation Corp. announce applications open for $250 million climate friendly homes fund


Wed, Feb 15th 2023 05:25 pm

Program helps small building owners improve energy efficiency in low- and moderate-income communities 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas and The Community Preservation Corp. announced applications for New York’s new $250 million climate friendly homes fund (CFHF) are now open.

A press release stated, “The program is administered by CPC and will make awards to owners of multifamily rental properties to increase energy efficiency and decrease a building's greenhouse gas emissions. The program is expected to assist 10,000 units of multifamily housing in economically disadvantaged communities by 2027.

“As part of the state’s strategy to curb building emissions and establish 2 million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030, the Climate Friendly Homes Fund will provide financial assistance to small building owners to offset the costs of an energy audit and physical needs assessment to identify opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Eligible improvements include electrifying the building’s heating and cooling, and domestic hot water systems, as well as basic upgrades to improve the efficiency of the building envelope and ventilation systems.”

Visnauskas said, "The $250 million climate friendly homes fund will provide much-needed financial and technical assistance to New York’s small building owners to improve energy efficiency at their properties primarily located in economically disadvantaged communities. As New York moves quickly and deliberately on a path to a greener future, we must ensure that all New Yorkers can benefit from clean energy technology, and that historically underserved neighborhoods are no longer bearing the burden of climate change. This significant investment will help ensure that 10,000 households can live in safe, healthy and sustainable homes, and will move us forward toward achieving the state’s nation-leading climate action targets.”

The Community Preservation Corp. President Sadie McKeown said, “Building the future that New Yorkers deserve requires not only creating more housing, but also improving the quality and sustainability of our existing affordable housing stock. The climate friendly homes fund is a powerful tool that will strengthen low- and middle-income communities across the state, and we look forward to partnering with Gov. Hochul, Homes & Community Renewal and our lending and community partners to implement this program.”

To qualify, buildings must have between five and 50 units and must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

√ The building must be subject to an existing regulatory agreement, or under the supervision of HCR.

√ The building must be in a low- to moderate-income census block as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program or located in a disadvantaged community as defined in the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

Applications for the CFHF, as well as eligibility criteria and more information on the program, is available on the climate friendly homes fund program landing page. Program information is also available on HCR's website.

The press release stated, “To maximize the program’s reach and impact, CPC is partnering with like-minded green lending institutions, community development financial institutions, and other community-based nonprofits to collaborate on the identification and screening of building retrofit opportunities across the state. Lending partners will include Local Initiatives Support Corp., Enterprise Community Partners, and Inclusive Prosperity Capital. In addition, local community-based organizations from across the state will provide community outreach and originations support to the program.”

Baaba Halm, vice president and New York market leader at Enterprise Community Partners, said, “Housing is key to meeting the state’s climate goals. We are excited to be a part of this program, which will catalyze the transition to clean energy for thousands of small- to medium-sized buildings in low and moderate-income communities, where these upgrades will improve air quality and health outcomes.”

Valerie White, senior executive director of LISC NY, said, “We are proud to be participating in this innovative venture that will both improve and update our existing properties while ensuring a cleaner future for all New Yorkers. The climate friendly homes fund is a crucial step forward for us all, collectively – and we cannot delay action any longer. Now is the time for an effective, forward-thinking, inclusive approach to housing management in New York.”

Kerry O’Neill, CEO of Inclusive Prosperity Capital, said, “Inclusive Prosperity Capital is excited to be part of New York state’s ambitious and nation-leading initiatives to decarbonize its multifamily building stock. With amazing partners like New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Community Preservation Corp., LISC and Enterprise, the climate friendly homes fund is a tremendous opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reduce their carbon footprint, and be part of a more inclusive and climate-friendly building preservation strategy. Like the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York state and Gov. Hochul are once again doing their part in making our planet a better place for all.”

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