President Barack Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge has been expanded to include multifamily housing, and twelve NHC members have been named inaugural partners in the expansion. Extension of the program was announced last month by the Department of Energy and HUD. Partner organizations were chosen based on leadership in building and sustaining mixed-income multifamily housing. The goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to assist building owners in creating more energy efficient, multifamily housing units.
President Obama charged multifamily housing owners to join the Better Buildings Challenge in his recent Climate Action Plan. Challenge partners commit to cutting energy in their buildings by 20 percent in a 10-year span. Roughly one fourth of households live in multifamily units, spending about $40 billion annually on energy costs. According to The Community Builders (TCB), if these units were just 20 percent more energy efficient, more than $7 billion would be saved per year and greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 430 million tons.
“We are proud to partner with the DOE and HUD and answer the call to make multifamily housing more energy efficient,” said TCB President and CEO, Bart Mitchell, in a press release. “We are committed to building and sustaining communities that use less energy and help our residents save money.” TCB is one of the twelve NHC members named an inaugural partner.
The expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge demonstrates the great efforts made by organizations around the country to improve green housing and promote energy efficient living. Like our many members, NHC is also on board. In September, we featured a special roundtable discussion on how to make properties healthier and more energy efficient through green renovations at our Solutions 2013 Conference in Atlanta. The discussion, part of our Restoring Neighborhoods track, featured housing practitioners and policy makers from NeighborWorks® America, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Community HousingWorks, Southface and the city of Columbus, Ohio.
NHC members BRIDGE Housing Corporation, EAH Housing, Eden Housing, Forest City Enterprises, Homes for America, LINC Housing Corporation, Mercy Housing, National Housing Trust, NHP Foundation, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, TCB and Volunteers for America were all named inaugural partners in the expansion.