Green Finance Advances Housing Affordability
"Washington, D.C. is using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing tool, along with public housing capital funds and private investment, to support the $16.8 million rehabilitation of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, which hosts 82 units of affordable housing for homeless women in transition in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. PACE provided 100% of the upfront capital for the project, which includes high-efficiency HVAC equipment and controls, lighting, domestic water heating, and plumbing systems, as well as a 32.7-kW solar PV system, which together will reduce energy consumption by 25%.
While PACE financing is available in most of the USA, this project marks the first time it has been approved for a Department of Housing and Urban Development-assisted mixed finance public housing property. By making it work in tandem with affordable housing subsidies, the novel mechanism enables rents to remain low enough so the property can remain as public affordable housing for at least 40 years, while at the same time it decreases its ecological footprint."