HUD Seeks Input on Green and Resilient Retrofit Program

HUD recently released a Request for Information in the Federal Register to obtain public input regarding the development of its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP). When implemented, the GRRP will provide grant and loan funding to facilitate retrofits of properties participating in its Multifamily assisted housing programs to make them more energy efficient, healthier, and resilient in the face of natural disasters and climate change. Eligible properties will include those participating in the Section 8 Project-based Rental Assistance, Section 202 Supportive Housing for Low-Income Elderly, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Low-Income Persons with Disabilities programs.

One level deeper: President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provided $1 billion in funding to HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs to implement the GRRP, as well as to support benchmarking of water and energy use in Multifamily assisted housing properties. The request for information seeks input on specific questions, including:

  • On program design features, energy-saving measures, low-emission technology, and resilience design and measures that have proven effective in affordable multifamily buildings.
  • On how HUD should to balance multiple goals (i.e., energy efficiency, decarbonization, and climate resilience).
  • On how HUD might encourage or require applicants to leverage other funding for projects, such as owner equity, other federal, state, local, and/or utility grants, loans, rebates, tax credits, and incentives.
  • On how HUD can best ensure that funding is distributed equitably while maximizing impact of these resources.
  • On the role HUD can play to support greater access to whole-building aggregate energy data.
  • On the equity considerations should HUD consider when implementing property retrofits and benchmarking.
  • On how HUD can and should evaluate resilience needs and the effectiveness of property-level resilience interventions, considering the variety of natural hazards and that the effectiveness of many resilience strategies are truly tested only when a disaster event strikes.

What you need to know: The GRRP is expected to result in multiple rounds of funding from HUD to support energy and water efficiency retrofits and climate resilience of HUD-assisted multifamily properties.

The IRA’s $1 billion funding for HUD includes $837.5 million for loans and grants to fund projects that improve energy or water efficiency, enhance indoor air quality or sustainability, implement the use of zero-emission electricity generation, low-emission building materials or processes, energy storage, or building electrification strategies, and/or address climate resilience and $42.5 million for energy and water benchmarking of the HUD-assisted multifamily portfolio along with associated data analysis and evaluation at the property and portfolio level, and the development of information technology systems necessary for the collection, evaluation, and analysis of such data.