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Fact Sheet: HUD Prioritizes Resilient, Efficient, and Green Homes and Community Development

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is improving the lives of the families and communities that HUD serves by reducing energy and insurance costs and improving resilience. As the nation drives toward a clean energy and carbon free future, HUD is ensuring that low-income and historically disadvantaged communities are part of the transformation – sharing in the economic and health benefits these actions provide.
Building on the historic investments under President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, over the past year, HUD has focused on increasing access to and awareness of funding opportunities and building stronger relationships with interagency partners, to collaborate on gathering climate data and ensure that climate investments enhance housing affordability. Across the Department, HUD is engaging in new and critical ways to combat our changing climate and advancing our Climate Action Plan, making significant strides towards the agency's goals:
 
Advancing climate resilience in our most vulnerable communities:
 
  • This week, HUD announced its first actions to address extreme heat in properties and communities: establishing an internal working group to improve resilience to extreme heat, publishing a Quick Guide for Extreme Heat and launching a centralized library of technical assistance resources related to extreme heat on HUD.gov/ExtremeHeat.
  • In February 2024, HUD published 11 standalone briefs that highlight key strategies and resources for equitable resilience, alerting and informing communities of important elements of post-disaster resilience that research has shown are often overlooked or less understood in the immediate wake of a disaster.  Since 1993, HUD has provided over $100 billion to help disaster-stricken low- and moderate-income communities recover and build resilience.
  • HUD published the Resilient Transportation and Mobility Solutions Guide, to assist communities in implementing mobility improvements to decarbonize their transportation systems, build resilience, and adapt to the impacts of natural hazards. This builds upon HUD's work with the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization.
  • HUD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed the Pre-Disaster Housing Planning Initiative (PDHI) to support state planning for housing recovery before disasters occur and promote collaborative approaches to housing recovery.
  • HUD launched a website on Tribal climate resilience and adaptation, advertising maps, data sets, adaptation plans, and information on Federal funding supports for Tribes addressing climate change.
  • In July 2023, HUD prioritized climate risk planning, requiring public housing authorities participating in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to establish property-specific disaster plans under the RAD Supplemental Notice and raising the minimum energy efficiency standards applicable to new construction in the RAD program.
  • This week, HUD published the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) final rule in the Federal Register to help communities prepare for and reduce flood damage. By implementing the FFRMS, HUD will help communities become resilient to flooding, protect lives and properties, minimize damage to households, reduce insurance costs, and safeguard federal investments – ensuring that federally funded construction projects are built to withstand current and future flood risks.
 
Ensuring that resilient HUD-supported housing is energy efficient, with reduced carbon emissions:
 
  • This week, HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the adoption of the updated Minimum Energy Standards: a final notice that will improve resident health and comfort, increase resilience of both single and multifamily homes, reduce carbon emissions for new construction, and yield significant cost savings for residents. By strengthening energy efficiency standards, HUD reduces the burden on household budgets, while protecting the environment for future generations. The energy codes adopted are estimated to result in an equivalent carbon emission reduction of taking 46,000 cars off the road every year for 30 years.
  • In March 2024, HUD reached a significant milestone: awarding over 50 percent of funding available under its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) established by President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). As of today, approximately $550 million is going to 109 qualified HUD-assisted multifamily properties to decrease energy and water consumption, reduce emissions, and improve climate resilience. This HUD funding will enable nearly 13,000 homes to build climate resilience, increase energy efficiency, improve resident health, and reduce carbon emissions, with thousands more communities expected to join them as the second half of GRRP funding is awarded. 
  • HUD is helping nonprofits, local governments, affordable housing providers, private citizens, tribes and others understand and access the historic investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to enhance climate resiliency, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, healthy housing, workforce development, and environmental justice. The HUD Exchange Build for the Future site provides critical access to a curated library of funding opportunities, guidance materials, and fosters peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. It also links to the Build For the Future Funding Navigator, a continuously updated database of hundreds of opportunities searchable by development goals, audience, and funding type, which has been accessed over 20,000 times since launching in September 2023.
    • In January 2024, HUD amplified these efforts through the “Build for the Future” Summit in Denver, CO, where key federal agencies including the EPA, DOE, USDA, and U.S. Department of the Treasury for strategic discussions with over 200 representatives from local governments and community partners around the opportunities, challenges and actions needed to successfully deploy available resources.
  • HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) is working with DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to coordinate efforts to make homes healthier and more energy efficient for families, reducing time and costs for making energy interventions in low-income households by establishing categorical income eligibility for HUD-assisted households for weatherization assistance.  
  • HUD's Energy Branch received two awards – the Smart Energy Decision's 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and the Association of Energy Engineers Institutional Energy Management Award – recognizing its remarkable initiatives in energy efficiency and sustainability for public housing authorities. 
  • In December 2023, HUD launched its free energy and water benchmarking service –funded through President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act – which provides multifamily property owners with data on energy and water consumption at their properties so they can identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. As of mid-April, over 787 properties, representing more than 60,000 units, are participating in this effort that is targeted to serve at least 40 percent of the assisted multifamily portfolio over the next four years.
  • HUD's Office of the Chief Financial Officer has implemented the inclusion of Climate Change and Environmental Justice preference points in Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) to encourage activities in support of interdepartmental initiatives. HUD now awards up to two (2) preference points for applications that invest in climate resilience, energy efficiency, and renewable energy; and up to two (2) preference points for applications that advance Environmental Justice by reducing exposure to health risks, environmental hazards, and substandard housing, especially for low-income households and communities of color.
 
Committing to embedding environmental justice considerations across HUD programs:
 
  • HUD is committed to ending housing discrimination that violates the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights authorities, including environmental discrimination. For example, following complaints of noncompliance, HUD and the City of Chicago reached an agreement in which Chicago will complete a comprehensive study of environmental burdens, health conditions, and social stressors across Chicago.
  • HUD entered into two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in February 2024, to address the risk of exposures to lead.  These MOUs will expand efforts to address lead-based paint hazards in housing and establish a pilot program to share data across agencies to identify communities and families at higher risk of health and safety hazards.
  • In January 2024, HUD published a notice to protect families and communities from radon, simultaneously investing $3 million in radon testing and mitigation grants to public housing agencies to reduce radon exposure.
 
Building interagency partnerships to advance climate resilience, decarbonization, and environmental justice across the country:
 
  • In December 2023, HUD announced at the 28th U.N. Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai announced that the Department would become the 15th member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), committing to ensure that the needs of HUD-assisted tenants, low-income households and communities most vulnerable to both climate change and housing challenges are considered and addressed in federally supported climate research.
  • Last week, HUD partnered with NOAA and HHS on NOAA's Urban Heat Island Campaign, supporting community scientists in mapping the hottest neighborhoods in 14 U.S. communities. The data collected will enable HUD to develop evidence-based policies and programs to mitigate these impacts, including improving housing resilience, enhancing access to cooling infrastructure, and supporting community adaptation strategies. 
  • In January 2024, HUD sent a joint a letter with DOE and EPA to utility companies asking them to make energy and water usage data available for multifamily properties, which would help building owners access funding to increase efficiency and could significantly reduce energy and water costs. 
  • In December 2023, HUD and DOE signed an MOU to advance equitable building decarbonization through a variety of strategies that leverage both agencies' expertise in research and development, energy technology, construction, and housing and energy policy.
 
Investing in internal training and learning opportunities for HUD staff to gain important knowledge on climate change and environmental justice issues:
 
  • Last year, over 4,000 HUD-employees attended a five-part series of conversations focused on key elements of HUD's climate portfolio and HUD's role in advancing a climate-resilient nation. HUD is continuing this work, hosting a second round of “Climate Convenings” for all HUD-staff focused on extreme heat, environmental justice, climate investment and other cross-cutting topics important to meeting HUD's mission.  
  • To commemorate the Total Solar Eclipse, HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman hosted physics and astronomy students from neighboring Howard University to teach HUD staff about the eclipse, while engaging the students about the work HUD does in the path of the eclipse. This event brought together partners and staff to appreciate our environment and the natural resources that we share.

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