Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced a $24 million pilot program aimed at reducing carbon emissions and improving overall energy performance of affordable housing developments in New York City. Participating agencies include New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
The pilot program is expected to support upgrades in approximately 1,200 living units of affordable housing and benefit 3,000 low-to-moderate income residents. Funding amounts will vary on a project-by-project basis determined by a demonstrated need and the scope of work.
The partnership will facilitate a streamlined funding process through which affordable housing property owners can access NYSERDA incentives without minimal administrative work. These incentives will help offset the cost of upgrades necessary improve the building’s energy performance and emissions. High-priced upgrades can include transitioning from fossil fuel-based heating and cooling to an electric system, facade replacement, the installation of heat recovery systems, or the replacement of traditional incandescent lighting with modern LEDs.
“Through this partnership, we will demonstrate a simplified process for electrifying affordable housing, while developing replicable new retrofit approaches in order to reduce statewide emissions,” said NYSERDA president and CEO Doreen M. Harris.
When the program launches in the fall, NYSERDA will provide, and later disburse, nearly $22 million in incentives, alongside HPD financing, directly to project developers. NYSERDA will also fund a Technical Assistance Provider to assist pilot participants and HPD in implementing electrification upgrades throughout the design, construction, and post-construction phases.
The program falls in line with New York State’s Climate Mobilization Act, a progressive package of laws that aimed at reducing carbon emissions 85 percent by 2050 among other efficiency goals. The package also establishes hefty fines for buildings that exceed emissions limits.
“This new partnership between NYSERDA and HPD will make it easier for affordable housing developments in New York City to access funding and retrofit their buildings for clean energy usage,” said Governor Hochul. “Partnerships like this are moving us closer to achieving the State’s ambitious climate goals as we continue to seek out new and innovative ways to incorporate clean energy into our daily routines and lives.”
Applications will be accepted upon launch in the fall until the end of 2024 or until funds have been exhausted.