New York City (NYC) has two significant commitments that impact building owners: to build or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years and to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. To reach these goals, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) worked hand in hand with the agency responsible for preserving and developing affordable housing, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), to develop programs and financing products that reduce emissions while keeping rents affordable.
MOS launched the NYC Retrofit Accelerator in 2015 and Community Retrofit NYC in 2016. Both programs provide technical assistance to decision makers (e.g., owners, operators, and co-op members) in privately owned buildings to identify and implement projects promoting energy efficiency, water conservation, and clean energy. In 2015, MOS and NYC HPD launched the Green Housing Preservation Program (GHPP), a financing program that provides small and midsize multifamily buildings with no- and low-cost financing for energy efficiency and rehabilitation projects.
This paper explores how the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, Community Retrofit NYC, and GHPP rely on strategic partnerships to overcome the barriers of market pressure and funding access that prevent scaling energy efficiency projects in affordable housing. Two case studies demonstrate the importance of these partnerships.