Governor Hochul Announces Agreement with New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Establishing a $24 Million Pilot to Decarbonize Affordable Housing

August 30, 2021

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Pilot Program Investments Expected to Support Upgrades in Approximately 1,200 Living Units of Affordable Housing and Benefit 3,000 Low-to-moderate Income Residents

Innovative Pilot Streamlines Funding to Accelerate Emissions Reductions through Electrification of Affordable Housing

Supports the State's Nation-leading Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 85 Percent by 2050

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced an agreement between the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to partner on a $24 million pilot program to fund electrification activities in affordable housing. In addition, the Pilot will create a streamlined funding process, by which affordable housing owners can access NYSERDA incentives without additional administrative work. The program supports the State's nation-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

"The climate crisis is a global problem that demands a global response, and that's why it's so important that New York State and New York City pool their resources and work together to reduce carbon emissions," Governor Hochul said. "This new partnership between NYSERDA and HPD will make it easier for affordable housing developments in New York City to access funding and retrofit their buildings for clean energy usage. Partnerships like this are moving us closer to achieving the State's ambitious climate goals as we continue to seek out new and innovative ways to incorporate clean energy into our daily routines and lives."

"Our recovery must be a green recovery, because climate change isn't some far off crisis - it's already here," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This partnership will help us to decarbonize affordable housing and meet our clean energy goals. I am thankful for the Governor's partnership on this critical issue."

Through a Memorandum of Understanding, NYSERDA and HPD are collaborating to demonstrate that electrification upgrades of New York's regulated, multifamily affordable housing can be effectively incorporated when building owners seek financing for clean and renewable energy for their buildings. The pilot will provide gap funding to cover the incremental costs of electrifying existing HPD-regulated buildings and implementing other performance improvements such as building envelope and hot water distribution, which reduce energy consumption and improve health and safety outcomes for residents. Such work will include transitioning from fossil-fuel based heating and cooling to highly efficient heat pump technology, thereby increasing energy efficiency, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and providing superior indoor environmental quality.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "Through this partnership, we will demonstrate a simplified process for electrifying affordable housing, while developing replicable new retrofit approaches in order to reduce statewide emissions. The funding will support our ongoing efforts to decarbonize the State's existing building stock while ensuring a just transition to a clean energy economy that provides all residents access to the far-reaching benefits of energy efficiency and electrification."

HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said, "This pilot program is exactly the kind of bold step envisioned when Mayor de Blasio announced his Green New Deal in 2019, setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% and committing to carbon neutrality by 2050. A significant part of meeting that goal is the electrification of buildings, particularly older developments that were not built with the same energy efficiency goals in mind. We are grateful to partner with NYSERDA to advance energy efficiency in the City's affordable housing stock, which will ultimately help us build a stronger and more resilient city for generations to come."

When the program launches in the fall, NYSERDA will provide, and later disburse, nearly $22 million in incentives, alongside HPD financing, directly to project developers. Additionally, NYSERDA will also fund a Technical Assistance Provider to assist pilot participants and HPD in implementing electrification upgrades throughout the design, construction and post-construction phases. The TAP will also perform information and data collection to develop publicly available annual reports and a final report, presenting the results of the pilot to stakeholders, such as other affordable housing agencies.

The pilot program investments are expected to support upgrades in approximately 1,200 living units of affordable housing and benefit 3,000 low-to-moderate income residents. Funding amounts will vary on a project-by-project basis based on the demonstrated need and scope of work to be implemented. Applications will be accepted upon launch in the fall until the end of 2024 or until funds have been exhausted.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnneVisnauskas said, "NYSERDA's $24 million pilot program with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development builds on HCR's $7.5 million Clean Energy Initiative, which will create up to 600 state-of-the-art, all-electric homes. Today's announcement is another significant investment in clean energy solutions for affordable multifamily housing developments. By adding funding for electrification retrofits to the refinancing of existing housing developments, we can more efficiently deliver this new technology to older developments and remain on target to meet the state's overall decarbonization goals. These retrofits will yield healthier and more sustainable homes for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers and a greener environment for all."

National Resources Defense Council Senior Advisor, Building Efficiency and Decarbonization, Lindsay Robbins, said, "Efficiency and decarbonization in affordable multifamily housing will provide healthy, comfortable, and affordable homes for the New Yorkers that need them most. This forward-thinking pilot harnesses the refinancing process, a rare opportunity for these properties to make significant upgrades, to ensure these properties have the opportunity to take meaningful steps towards decarbonization. New York continues to be a leader in the adoption of innovative solutions to decarbonize affordable multifamily housing, and collaborations between state and city agencies like this one will help ensure New York meets its climate goals."

Buildings are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and integrating energy efficiency and electrification measures in existing buildings will reduce carbon pollution and help achieve more sustainable, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings across the State. By improving energy efficiency in buildings and including onsite storage, renewables, and electric vehicle charging equipment, the State will reduce carbon pollution and achieve the ambitious target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtu by 2025, the equivalent of powering 1.8 million homes, which will result in an additional $1.8 billion in societal and environmental benefits.

This program is funded through NYSERDA's $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. For more information, please visit HPD's website.

Senator Kevin Parker said, "I applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their latest initiative to decarbonize throughout the state, while making disadvantaged communities a priority. The program will be an asset to thousands of affordable housing residents and I look forward to the expansion of this project overtime."

Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, "As we work towards achieving our clean energy goals, decarbonizing our buildings is absolutely crucial. NYSERDA and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development understand the importance of decarbonizing housing and today's announcement of a pilot program is the first in what will hopefully be many steps taken to ultimately decarbonize all of New York City's affordable housing."

Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz said, "This project will improve the health and safety of residents, save money in fuel costs and move forward our State's essential mandate of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I commend Gov. Hochul for implementing a partnership between NYSERDA and HPD that will benefit the lives of many New Yorkers for years to come."

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.