For Immediate Release
Julie Du Brow, 310-922-1301
US Green Building Council-L.A.Announces Green Affordable Housing Program, Tackling LA’s Most Challenging Buildings
Multi-family Housing Properties in East SFV can Apply for Program Now
Los Angeles, CA (March 2, 2021) The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) has launched the Green Affordable Housing Program (GAHP), which expects to fill a current gap in market support and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in multi-family properties located in low-income communities. The program will provide: tenant education, property owner and manager project and rebate support, the installation of heat pump space and water heating technology, community EV charging, indoor air and water quality monitoring, and innovative net-zero technology pilots. This program is primarily supported by the LADWP Community Emission Reduction Grants Program, as well as the Quick Start Grant from TECH Clean California and the CalEPA Environmental Justice state programs.
The program is focused on low-income communities in L.A. City Council Districts 2, 6 and 7 in the Eastern San Fernando Valley (e.g. Pacoima, Panorama City, Van Nuys, and North Hollywood), and will focus on two cohorts of ten buildings, the first cohort in 2022 and second in 2023, expected to positively impact at least 1,500 residents in that area. Buildings may apply now to be part of the program by visiting the GAHP program page.
The portion of GAHP that is supported by the Quick Start Grant will fund the installation of heat pumps in selected properties. CalEPA’s funding will support installation of indoor/outdoor air quality sensors and onsite water testing, where there is a critical need for more building level data from low-income housing. USGBC-LA’s Healthy Building Alliance program and focus on building decarbonization helped create the framework for GAHP, ensuring the inclusion of air and water quality testing, education and workshops, EV charging, and replacing natural gas heating equipment with heat pumps to lower tenants’ utility bills, reduce GHG emissions, and improve both indoor and neighborhood air quality.
This program is centered on the Eastern San Fernando Valley because it exemplifies an area that disproportionately feels the impacts of climate change – high heat days, poor air quality (exasperated by many of the wildfires) – but lacks resources to adapt. A great deal of industrial activity through manufacturing, and high-level of transportation emissions from the busy streets and nearby freeways.
“From an equity standpoint it is critically important we address decarbonization and occupant health for our multi-family housing in low-income communities, otherwise we will only continue to exacerbate the inequalities heightened by the impacts of climate change,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton. “This program targets head-on our biggest challenge in decarbonizing our buildings in LA, which are those apartment buildings built in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, accounting for the majority of our residential energy use and in desperate need of modernization, as well as the support to get there.”
The GAHP’s core goals include:
- Development of Tenant Education in English and Spanish on building efficiency and occupant health that will also help reduce energy and water costs.
- Development of, and guidance through, a Menu of Efficiency and Electrification Options for Property Owners and Managers to facilitate building retrofits; this includes enrollment assistance with LADWP programs and rebates.
- Direct Engagement and Support for retrofitting 20 buildings in the Eastern San Fernando Valley, including the installation of 20 Community EV Charging Stations (1 per building).
- Installation of free or highly subsidized heat pump space and water heating technology and other innovative technology pilots through USGBC-LA’s Net Zero Accelerator to further lower energy costs and reduce GHG emissions.
- Installation of indoor air quality monitors and water testing for 10 buildings in this program.
The two technologies already selected as pilot projects from USGBC-LA’s Net Zero Accelerator will help the property managers and the occupants easily understand their building’s current energy performance and how they can personally activate change in their homes. The first, YellowTin, is a user-friendly, AI-powered consumer education and engagement platform (employing gamification) that lets a homeowner, property manager or renter calculate their own personal GHG emissions footprint and look at how to reduce energy use in their home or apartment through the choices they make. The other is Dynamhex, which provides calculations for building portfolios – in this case multi-family buildings in the Eastern San Fernando Valley – how many GHG emissions they are creating, and then offers which strategies will reduce emissions and by how much for each of those buildings. The company can offer a report on a building-level basis, based on address, and even calculate what the emissions would be if the building owner installed an EV Charging station or solar, for instance. Finally, Dynamhex calculates where your energy is coming from at each time of day (coal, solar, wind, etc.).
Continues Stapleton, “Part of our role at USGBC-LA is to help both property managers and individuals move through the process of greening their buildings and the spaces they occupy. We want to make sure they aren’t wasting their precious time nor resources, and education is a key part of that, not just an understanding of the terms involved, but knowing who and what information to trust. We are here as a resource and partner in working through these challenges.”
To learn more about the Green Affordable Housing Program, including to apply as a building, please click here, or contact Fernanda Zuin at email@example.com. If you’d like to contribute to this project in any way, or if you’d like to provide any other funding support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission is to accelerate all aspects of sustainability in the built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. Learn, Share and Lead Green. (www.usgbc-la.org)