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."

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  • Finance & Economic Development for Cities100

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