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RADBlast! Special Edition: RAD Celebrates Earth Day!

In this Special Edition of the RADBlast!: Going Green with RAD, by the Numbers, RAD Supports Environmental Sustainability in Ventura, CA, Establishing a Disaster Preparedness Plan, Funding Available for Renewable Energy in RAD Conversions

Happy Earth Day!

Energy Savings in the Earth

To honor Earth Day, this month's RADBlast features stories on HUD's efforts supporting the creation of sustainable energy efficient homes and how these efforts have made environmental improvements in communities across the nation.

In this Special Edition of the RADBlast!:

Going Green with RAD, by the Numbers

RAD Supports Environmental Sustainability in Ventura, CA

Establishing a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Funding Available for Renewable Energy in RAD Conversions


Going Green with RAD, by the Numbers

Every property converting through RAD is required to take proven, cost-effective steps to improve the efficiency of the property. Here's a glimpse of the environmental improvements we've seen in RAD conversions to-date.

160

RAD for Public Housing conversions have obtained green certifications for their projects

85%

of RAD for PRAC deals have featured at least one green construction feature

44

RAD for Public Housing conversions used an innovative tool to re-invest savings from tenant-paid utilities into property improvements

 


RAD Supports Environmental Sustainability in Ventura, CA

RAD in Ventura, CA Picture 1

Originally built in 1952, Westview Village was the first public housing development in Ventura, California. By the mid-2010s the buildings had deteriorated and the floor plans didn't match the needs of modern families. Seeking to meet the area's demand for affordable housing, the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) turned to RAD to redevelop the property in four phases and increase the density of affordable homes in the community from 180 to 320.

RAD in Ventura, CA Picture 2

The HACSB engaged with residents and the community two years before the start of construction. Early resident involvement was key in dispelling fears that the RAD conversion would increase rent or cause residents to be displaced. The PHA partnered with BRIDGE Housing Corporation and leveraged RAD and Westview Village's existing resources — its setting, its land, and the ideas and energy of its residents — to create a development that serves the health and well-being of its entire community.  Through intentional design using recycled laundry greywater to water the landscaping, a solar system, electric vehicle charging stations, and other features, Westview Village earned platinum status in the certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighborhood Designation (LEED-ND).  

View the Photo Essay Here

Establishing a Disaster Preparedness Plan

More frequent extreme weather events have magnified the importance of planning for potential natural disasters. The RAD Supplemental Notice, published last July, put climate risk planning at the forefront and made it a requirement for PHAs to establish a property-wide disaster plan informed by climate risks. To aid PHAs and owners in creating a disaster plan, HUD developed a Multifamily Disaster Preparedness Plan Template. The template draws on best practices for disaster and evacuation planning and is designed to guide users through the process of gathering appropriate information and resident input, drafting a plan, and educating residents and staff about the plan. The fillable document also includes worksheets for an evacuation plan that incorporates safe egress route(s), plans for evacuating residents with special needs, and clear communication of the evacuation plan and safety resources for residents. The template is also accompanied by a short video  to orient users on to how to use the template.

 

Funding Available for Renewable Energy in RAD Conversions

Rural Solar Wind Energy

RAD partners can benefit from the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, along with other federal programs to enhance climate resilience, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, healthy housing, workforce development, and environmental justice. This month, we're highlighting the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program which targets solar or wind investments benefiting low-income housing projects, including any properties converting through RAD (see eligible covered housing.)

The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit supplements the existing Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (sometimes referred to as “48E”).  The standard 48E credit provides owners with a base credit of up to 30% of the cost of a renewable energy project. The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit adds 20 percentage points to the base credit for solar or wind installations at low-income residential buildings. Importantly, the credit has been designed to work in the variety of ownership structures seen in RAD conversions, including common Low Income Housing Tax Credit structures but also through a new direct pay structure that works when the property remains directly owned by a non-profit or public housing authority.

Every property converting through RAD should assess the viability of installing a renewable energy source (the REopt Tool is great resource to do a self-assessment) and take advantage of this Bonus Credit to help finance the installation. The Bonus Credit has a cap and must be applied for through the Department of Energy, found here: Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program | Department of Energy. 

Information on this program and other similar resources is centralized on HUD's Build for the Future website which presents a curated library of funding opportunities, guidance materials, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. HUD will continue to highlight active opportunities that fit well with common financing structures used in RAD conversions.

Thank you.
The RAD Team

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