Enterprise Launches New Green Retrofit Program for Affordable Housing

As building costs increase and infrastructure continues to age, one local nonprofit is working to reduce operating costs and provide energy- and cost-efficient homes for low-income residents. The New York office of Columbia, MD-based Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. has launched a new program called the Partner Portfolio Retrofit Engagement Platform – or PartnerPREP – a new green business service that will help owners of multifamily affordable housing developments to retrofit their buildings.

The program provides owners with energy planning and building management advice, energy efficiency and building performance technical support and assistance in identifying financial opportunities and resources to support energy efficiency upgrades and improvements during the course of two years, according to Bomee Jung, senior program director of Enterprise’s Green Program. She tells GlobeSt.com that the organization would like to like to address 5,000 units worth of portfolio through energy conservation intervention and then touch 15,000 units through the operating and maintenance improvements across the board.

“We have a very strong focus on energy efficiency and the environmental sustainability piece of it, because that is so important in terms of energy performance of existing buildings in New York,” she says, noting that the service, which focuses on portfolio data collection, benchmarking analysis, energy audits and performance monitoring, also targets tenant education and outreach. “Enterprise has always had a very integrated holistic approach to green building, and for the PartnerPREP program, what that translates into is that we are not looking just at energy or just at water, we are also integrating an approach at fostering resident engagement and improving communication around everyone’s commitment to the sustainability of that building, not just the building operators.”

The program was made possible by federal and private sector sources. Enterprise recently received a grant award of $2.8 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Energy Innovation Fund, of which $1 million will be used for the program. In addition, Morgan Stanley provided a $200,000 grant and the New York Community Trust donated $100,000 toward the work.

Participants in the program include El Barrio’s Operation Fightback, South East Bronx Community Organization, Mutual Housing Association of New York and VIP Community Services, which comprise 2,500 units total. Jung says the program aims to save 10% across the portfolio just by improving operations. “This is really an engagement geared less toward specific buildings, but really geared toward helping an owner look at their entire portfolio,” she says.

Categories: Northeast, Multifamily, Residential, Green Buildings, New York

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