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ACEEE's Report: Affordable Housing Needs More Support to Comply with Building Performance Standards

On January 17, 2024, ACEEE came out with a report titled “Affordable Housing Needs More Support to Comply with Building Performance Standards.” 
The title tells a big story.

Why this matters: 
Building performance standards are a key policy for meeting decarbonization goals, but because the upfront costs to comply with these standards can be a challenge, they should be accompanied by sufficient financial resources and technical assistance for affordable housing. 

Calico Perspective: 
While human capital may play a role in affordable housing’s inability to meet decarbonization goals, the crux of the issue revolves around three factors: awareness, money, and access to data. Current policy limits landlord’s ability to raise rent to pay for energy improvements, therefore, external funding must be available for landlords to bring their buildings up to code. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) authorizes landlord access to building data from the utilities. Why is this important? Landlords now have the opportunity to make informed decisions and energy improvements for their buildings with accurate data.

This report touches on the added complexity in obtaining data for multifamily and mixed-use properties. Especially how this complexity to accessible data impacts energy equity. The first step in solving this issue is to increase collaboration between policy, utility, and building stakeholders. By raising awareness of the issue itself we begin to move toward solution-based approaches that can support everyone in the process.  


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