July 2020 – One of the key determinants of health and levers for racial equity in our country starts with how we invest in and uphold the health of the nation’s housing stock especially in low income communities. Governor Cuomo‘s and New York State’s actions are an important and thoughtful step forward. Through these investments our communities, children and seniors will be healthier and have a far better quality of life. GHHI applauds the good work of the EEFA NY coalition in helping to advance increased funding for affordable, energy efficient and safe multi-family housing.
Statement of EEFA New York on Governor Cuomo’s Announcement of Clean Energy Investments for Low-To-Moderate Income Households (July 2020)
The Energy Efficiency for All New York (EEFA NY)* coalition is pleased to see that Governor Cuomo’s announcement of funding for low and moderate-income energy efficiency programs includes several hundred million dollars in additional funds than previously authorized. In particular, we applaud the well over $100 million increase in funds committed to existing affordable multifamily buildings, which increases the affordable multifamily sector’s share from 40% to 65% of the incremental energy efficiency funding.
The Low and Moderate Income Plan released jointly by NYSERDA and the New York utilities was eagerly anticipated and provides a welcome path forward to increased investment in energy efficiency in affordable multifamily housing, which will create safer, healthier and more affordable homes while supporting a strong and vital energy efficiency workforce. Sound program design over the next six months will be critical and the members of EEFA NY offer their expertise to the utilities and NYSERDA for the further development of program components.
We are particularly supportive of using uncommitted Clean Energy Fund monies for disadvantaged communities in keeping with the mandate of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and environmental justice. The significant additional funds for affordable multifamily buildings are needed now more than ever given our current public health and economic crises.
We are also pleased to see the New York Green Bank’s commitment to funding for affordable housing. We look forward to our continued work with the NY Green Bank on how to prioritize retrofits in existing affordable multifamily housing since such support is critical to ensure that New York’s aging building stock can meet the demands of our fossil free future and the disadvantaged communities’ provisions of the CLCPA.
*Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) New York includes the Association for Energy Affordability, Enterprise Community Partners, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pace Energy and Climate Center, and WEACT for Environmental Justice. EEFA is a national initiative headed by Elevate Energy, the Energy Foundation, National Housing Trust, and Natural Resources Defense Council to support state-based coalitions, including EEFA NY, and to bring together the energy, affordable housing, and health communities to tap the benefits of energy efficiency and other holistic building measures for millions of low-income families.