Better Climate Challenge – Multifamily
HUD has joined with DOE to launch the multifamily Better Climate Challenge, a voluntary platform for multifamily housing providers to join with other building sectors to set ambitious, portfolio-wide, operational Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and showcase how they are taking steps to address climate change. More specifically, partnering organizations commit to reducing their scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 50 percent within 10 years. Partners also set an energy efficiency target as well, typically 20 percent.
Launch Event – February 28, 2022
The Climate Challenge was launched at an Executive Roundtable with HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and the White House Climate Advisor on February 28, 2022.
- Arizona Housing, Inc. (AHI): Founded in 1995, AHI aims to assist individuals and families in attaining self-sufficiency through the provision of dignified, comprehensive housing and services. AHI provides permanent supportive housing - combining affordable housing with case management and supportive services - to address the needs of extremely low-income individuals, including those who were previously chronically homeless and living on the streets. To date, AHI has developed 616 units of permanent affordable supportive housing at five sites in Phoenix, AZ, serving over 700 low-income, disadvantaged men, women, and children each year. Under the Better Climate Challenge, AHI commits to a 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions and an accompanying 20 percent reduction in energy use intensity.
- Community Housing Partners (CHP): Community Housing Partners provides affordable and sustainable housing for 6,100 households in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. For 30 years, CHP has designed and built multifamily projects to meet strict green building standards with an emphasis on energy-efficient design, sustainable building practices, and reduced utility costs for residents. Through the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future’s (SAHF’s) Big Reach Initiative, CHP and its peers achieved 29 percent energy savings and 24 percent water savings since 2010. CHP’s Green Team hopes to build on this success by setting an organizational vision to be a sustainable net-zero company by 2050. In 2013, CHP joined the Multifamily Better Buildings Challenge to improve the energy efficiency of its multifamily portfolio by at least 20 percent over 10 years.
- Foundation Communities (FC): Foundation Communities is an Austin-based non-profit that has committed to a 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions across their 3,200-unit, 2.9 million-square-foot portfolio over 10 years. The organization employs deep green building strategies and sustainable operations and maintenance policies that focus on energy and water conservation, healthy indoor air, and waste reduction. Many of FC's properties are LEED certified and hold Austin Energy Green Building 5-star ratings. Since 2014, they have more than doubled their solar capacity and now have 1.5 Megawatts installed across 15 properties.
- Homeowner’s Rehab (HRI): Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit housing developer focused on developing and preserving affordable housing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HRI has committed their 1.3 million square foot portfolio, with almost 1,400 units, to the Better Climate Challenge goal of a 5 percent reduction in carbon emissions over 10 years. HRI believes that it is the responsibility of affordable housing developers to reduce their carbon footprint. HRI works to address this issue throughout the construction and renovation process as well as building operations so that families can enjoy healthy, energy-efficient homes that help preserve the local environment and the planet.
- King County Housing Authority (KCHA): KCHA provides rental housing and rental assistance to more than 18,000 individuals and families in King County, Washington. KCHA transforms distressed communities through well-designed, higher density, mixed-income housing that utilizes energy and water-saving technologies. KCHA has committed to further reducing its energy use by committing to at least 50 percent emissions reduction through deep energy-saving retrofits, electrification, heating efficiency upgrades, and use of clean electricity sources. In addition to their Better Climate Challenge commitment, KCHA has also established an internal 5-year goal to reduce the portfolio’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 10 percent through continuous energy-saving building upgrades, resident engagement initiatives, and direct installs of energy saving products across their housing portfolio.
- The Schochet Companies: The Schochet Companies is a real estate development and management company that owns and/or manages more than 5,300 apartments and 50,000 square feet of affordable, market-rate, and commercial mixed-use housing throughout New England. Headquartered in Braintree, MA, the company has developed, owned, and/or managed in excess of 7,000 apartments and 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space throughout New England and on the West Coast since its formation by Jay R. Schochet in 1973. The Schochet Companies have committed to reducing their GHG emissions by half in the coming 10 years, in addition to a 20 percent reduction in energy use intensity.
- Seattle Housing Authority (SHA): SHA provides long-term, low-income rental housing and rental assistance to more than 37,000 people in Seattle, Washington. SHA has a long history of investing in energy efficiency, water conservation, and construction of some of green affordable housing. In 2019, SHA committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil gases in existing buildings by 15, reduce fleet vehicle idling by 50 percent, electrify 100 percent of its passenger vehicle fleet, and double on-site solar energy generation - all by 2025. These commitments have spurred new investments in lighting replacements, energy recovery ventilation, high efficiency condensing boilers, solar power, and CO2 heat pump water heaters.
- Standard Communities: Standard Communities is one of the 50 largest affordable housing owners in the nation, including the largest tax-exempt bond and LIHTC financed affordable housing transactions in Illinois, California, and Washington DC. They have committed its portfolio of 8.3 million square feet to the Climate Challenge. Previous sustainability successes include the largest rooftop community solar system in D.C. at Fort Chaplin Park Apartments. This project spans 45 buildings, will generate more than 1.5 million kWh of energy annually – saving low-income residents up to $500 per year on their electric bills. Standard will benchmark all properties and monitor energy use, implement financially feasible energy reduction measures, improve operations and maintenance, conduct resident engagement, and utilize renewable energy to meet both Better Buildings and Climate Challenge goals.
- Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC): TNDC serves 4,100 low-income tenants in San Francisco across 44 buildings with 14 additional buildings under development. It is a Better Buildings Challenge Goal Achiever after achieving 20 percent energy savings and 20 percent water savings across their portfolio. They are currently members of the Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot and Water Savings Network. By 2031, TNDC seeks to cut its environmental footprint in half through the Better Climate Challenge. Currently, 52 percent of their buildings have rooftop Solar PV or Solar Thermal systems and all of their building’s common areas operate on 100 percent renewable energy through CleanPowerSF.