- The Department of Housing and Urban Development has closed its first round of applications for the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, which will provide a total of $4.8 billion in loans and grants to HUD-assisted properties to fund green, sustainable and energy-efficient renovation projects.
- The funding is available through three paths or cohorts: Elements, made for properties in the middle of a recapitalization; Leading Edge, intended to meet a green certification; and Comprehensive, which includes advisory support from HUD on properties with high investment needs. Each cohort accepts applications for a month at a time on a rolling basis, starting with the first Elements application round in June.
- The first round of Comprehensive funding applications closed on Aug. 31, and the second Elements round is open now until Sept. 28. The first funding award announcements are expected this fall, according to Jen Larson, a housing senior advisor at HUD’s Office of Recapitalization.
Larson outlined the program and its requirements in a presentation at the National Institute of Building Sciences’ annual conference in Washington, D.C., last week. A total of 23,000 properties with project-based HUD rental assistance contracts are eligible for the GRRP.
Based on feedback in the program’s request for information, HUD aims to avoid common barriers and issues that arise in funding programs of this nature, according to Larson. Its strategies include reaching properties in need, supporting the owner’s capacity for project management and training and ensuring that property residents are engaged in the design and protected during construction.
In addition to funding retrofits that improve utility efficiency, climate resilience and carbon reduction, the awards will also cover soft costs accumulated during the renovation process. Applicants can choose to receive their funding as a grant, which stipulates the property remain affordable for at least 25 more years, or a surplus cash loan, which comes with a 15-year affordability stipulation plus 25-50% of annual surplus cash paid to HUD.
Award requirements include participation in utility consumption benchmarking, following resident notification and rights requirements, creating a disaster preparedness plan and following Build America Buy America guidelines, unless exempt.
Larson said that the GRRP awards are only to be used for recapitalizations and not for new construction. However, if a property is in such a condition that tearing it down and rebuilding it is the only way to complete the retrofit, the GRRP funding grants could be used for that level of construction. The awards are also open to properties of any size — HUD has properties in its portfolio ranging from four to 2,800 units.
HUD has continuously updated its Frequently Asked Questions section over the last three months and hosted regular office hours for potential participants.
The GRRP was first established under the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law in August 2022. The act provided $1 billion to HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs in order to implement the project, according to a press release.