Affordable Housing & Housing Affordability
NCBPA and our members understand that the many benefits of building performance offer short and long-term benefits to owners, occupants and managers. Energy efficiency, green building and high performance construction measures may cost more up-front, but they all provide long-term value and many types of benefits past energy savings alone.
Affordable Housing Activities
NCBPA is working to introduce incentives for multifamily affordable housing developers that build communities that exceed the minimum energy efficiency standards found in the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Currently, the standards require ENERGY STAR 2.0, a program that technically no longer exists. In the fall of 2018, NCBPA submitted comments to NCHFA with this proposal and is working with stakeholder organizations to identify pathways that support new developments meeting ENERGY STAR 3.0, Passive House, LEED and other high performance standards.
This work is founded in data that proves how energy efficient construction contributes to housing affordability in many ways. A recent Fannie Mae report on its own green financing program for multifamily units offers these key takeaways:
- Owners who made their properties more efficient are projected to recoup their investment within approximately six years on average, while tenants at these properties are projected to see annual utility expenses cut by 10%, or $145, on average;
- Properties are projected to reduce water use by 5.9 billion gallons, equivalent to the amount of water consumed annually by nearly 54,000 American families, and greenhouse gas emissions by 287,000 metric tons annually, equivalent to nearly 61,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year; and
- Newly constructed or retrofitted green multifamily buildings are estimated to have contributed $7.2 billion in workers’ income and $14.6 billion to gross domestic product and supported 170,000 jobs.
Housing Affordability Activities
NCBPA and our member companies believe that the up-front investment needed to build energy efficient, green and high performance homes improve housing affordability, as opposed to decreasing it, which is the common feeling amongst the new construction housing industry. Click here to view an article stating our case and be on the lookout for additional communications and resources in 2020 that address this topic head on.
Potential New Multifamily New Construction Duke Energy Program
NCBPA began proposing this new program earlier this year through Duke Energy’s bi-monthly meeting series called the Collaborative that involves Duke program staff, regulatory staff and energy efficiency advocates like NCBPA. Fortunately, they were already having internal discussions about modifying a current program, the mostly commercial Design Assistance Program, to include multifamily projects. Additionally, the existing Residential New Construction program that provides up to $9k of builder incentives and is available for single family and multifamily up to (including) 3 stories is being looked at for potential incentives as well.
Now, Duke Energy is actively exploring program modifications that would result in incentives for multifamily developers that go above and beyond NC’s minimum energy code (roughly 2012 IECC) and in particular above ENERGY STAR 2.0, which is the minimum requirement for NCHFA’s LIHTC program. NCBPA is seeking multifamily developers, program administrators/participants and other stakeholders to support and participate in our work to ensure this new program comes to fruition.
Developer Incentives for NCHFA’s QAP Program
NCBPA submits public comments annually advocating for NCHFA’s existing Qualified Allocation Plan to assign points to developer projects that exceed the program’s current LIHTC program requirements of ENERGY STAR 2.0. Our association has heard from several developers that their current margins are too low to explore increasing energy efficiency standards, including certifying to regional or national programs, on their own. These developers have asked for points to be assigned to individual measures and programs in order to incentivize them, and also for outside rebates or incentives from utilities (NCBPA is working on this separately).
NCBPA is seeking multifamily developers, program administrators/participants and other stakeholders to support and participate in our work to obtain QAP points for individual measures and programs.
Raising the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in NCHFA’s QAP Program
In addition to providing QAP points for individual measures and programs, NCBPA seeks to raise the minimum requirements from ENERGY STAR 2.0, a program that technically no longer exists, to the latest version of ENERGY STAR.
NCBPA is seeking multifamily developers, program administrators/participants and other stakeholders to support and participate in our work to advocate for increases to the program’s minimum requirements.
- Columbia Country Habitat for Humanity Passive Townhomes
- Solar installations make apartments more affordable
- Passive House affordable townhomes in Philadelphia
- Habitat for Humanity of Catawba County builds North Carolina’s first net-zero energy ready homes
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