Affordable Housing & Multifamily
The low-income housing stock is in bad shape. Years of deferred maintenance leave many low-income residents with unhealthy homes. And all too often energy efficiency programs can’t help due to health hazards and limit dedicated funds needed for necessary repairs. In order to help the low-income population access energy efficiency and live in a healthy home, innovative programs must look beyond traditional caps on health & safety spending. This session examines two innovative approaches from Connecticut to Maryland and will present examples and discuss the challenges, benefits, and lessons learned.
In 2015, the state of Connecticut (CT) provided Eversource and UIL Holdings Corporation grant dollars from a merger for remediation of health and safety barriers in income eligible customer homes. Historically, health and safety barriers negatively impact about 20% of all income eligible homes in CT. The panelists will provide details of the health and safety grant and its requirements, reasons how the grant was set up to optimize dollars and implementation, utility coordination and best practices.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD), which manages the low-income energy efficiency programs in the state, has made significant program changes to serve more customers that would previously have been deferred for health and safety reasons. The program has evolved from one modeled after DOE WAP into a more inclusive energy efficiency program. Health and safety spending levels are now determined by the cost-effective savings a project can generate instead of arbitrary caps. MDHCD has also ended customer deferrals. When IAQ concerns prevent deeper measures, customers can receive electric baseload measures that lead to energy savings, with no cap on the number of measures received. Participants will learn practical tips for getting major program changes like these approved and implemented.