City Agencies Announce Green Housing Program to Help Small Owners
Building on Mayor de Blasio’s “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation recently announced the new Green Housing Preservation Program to assist owners of small to mid-sized multifamily properties across the city in undertaking energy efficiency and water conservation improvements as well as moderate rehabilitation to improve building conditions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in exchange for entering into agreements to restrict rent.
Buildings across the five boroughs that have at least five units and less than 50,000 square feet (approximately 50 units) are eligible for the program. The program provides 0 percent interest, evaporating loans for energy efficiency and water conservation improvements, and 1 percent repayable loans to help cover the costs of moderate rehabilitation improvements that go beyond the energy-efficiency measures. The new program is projected to assist 475 units in the first year, and approximately 3,780 units will undergo moderate rehabilitation.
Examples of energy-efficiency improvements include insulation, efficient light fixtures, weatherproofing windows, and the installation of efficiency controls on systems such as boilers and low-flow water fixtures. Utility costs account for roughly 25 percent of the average operating budget of a rent-stabilized building. Based on a typical scope of work, buildings may reduce utility costs by approximately 10 percent or more annually. This represents an average savings of approximately $1,500 for a 10-unit building and $3,000 for a 20-unit building.
In exchange for city financial assistance, properties will be required to enter a regulatory agreement to keep rents restricted. The new program and related green preservation initiatives are funded with $45 million in city capital provided by the mayor in HPD’s fiscal year 2016 budget. HPD will provide direct financing, and encourage owners to leverage private financing and other incentive programs where feasible. This could include utility incentive and public programs for energy efficiency, and private funding through the program’s participating lenders—the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), Enterprise Community Partners, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), and the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC).