The time of refinance is an ideal time to incorporate efficiency, health, and renewables upgrades into affordable multifamily (AMF) housing properties. Low cash flow and limited capital reserves mean that a refinancing event is often the only time sufficient funds are available to make major capital improvements. These events do not happen frequently, often only every 10-15 years. Seizing that moment to enable upgrades that make properties more efficient, healthy, comfortable, and affordable for their residents is essential. However, the complexity of the financing process and a lack of information and resources can make it challenging to take advantage of this important opportunity to upgrade our nation’s affordable housing.
Since 2013, Energy Efficiency for All has worked with our allies in 13 states to increase and improve the pool of resources available to support efficiency upgrades in affordable housing, align those resources with the refinancing process, and encourage the adoption of policies and practices that make it possible to incorporate efficiency upgrades into underwriting. This has led to the development of several new approaches that help to overcome the barriers preventing investment in efficiency upgrades at the time of financing. This paper will share what we have learned, discuss how partners in our states and nationally are beginning to implement new solutions, and provide an overview of how programs, policies, and stakeholders can work together to make efficiency and healthy building upgrades a standard practice for every housing refinancing event.