- Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $27 Million to Decarbonize Affordable Housing Across Massachusetts
Karissa Hand, Press Secretary
Brookline — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced the first round of grants under its Affordable Housing Deep Energy Retrofit Grant Program, which the administration created earlier this year. A total of $27.35 million will be awarded to seven organizations for affordable housing projects. The grants will be used to fund deep energy retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades, building system electrification, and onsite renewable energy generation in 10 affordable housing developments in communities across Massachusetts. The announcement took place at The Village at Brookline.
Grants will help 10 affordable housing properties in seven communities upgrade equipment, insulation, and other features to lower energy demand and decarbonize. Program benefits include higher performing buildings that offer residents better indoor air quality and comfort, lower ongoing energy costs for residents and affordable housing providers, the opportunity for affordable housing providers to upgrade their housing stock, and healthier air in the communities were housing is located.
“Every day, I hear from residents who are struggling with the high costs of energy and housing. This grant program will lower monthly energy bills and maintain affordable housing for families across Massachusetts,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Electrifying our buildings presents an important opportunity to drive down energy costs for our residents. We will continue to pursue smart, cost-effective strategies that make our state more affordable, while keeping us on the cutting edge of climate innovation.”
“This initiative exemplifies how we can tackle the dual challenge of preserving affordable housing and reducing emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “I’m excited to see these projects move forward and directly benefit their cities and towns with lower greenhouse gas emissions, local clean energy workforce development, and a commitment from project developers to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“Buildings contribute 35 percent of the state’s emissions. This program demonstrates how we can decarbonize this sector with an equity lens,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “These projects will use local workers, bring down costs for renters, and improve air quality. With every investment, we right past wrongs and bring the benefits of the clean energy transition to those who have been denied climate justice.”
“This program builds on our successful energy efficiency and decarbonization programs to preserve long-term housing affordability and equitably support the electrification of our existing building stock,” said DOER Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony. “The selected projects will help spur the growth of the deep energy retrofit sector in Massachusetts and provide a model and best practices other developers can use for their own decarbonization projects.”
“Energy efficiency upgrades are a win-win: lower costs & lower emissions,” said Congressman Jake Auchincloss.
The grant awardees are:
Preservation of Affordable Housing will receive $5,080,000 for its Fairweather Salem project in Salem. The project will use prefabricated insulated panel facade over existing exterior walls to improve efficiency for 127 affordable housing units. The project is planning for Passive House certification.
Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation will receive $800,000 for its Hano Homes project in Allston and $950,000 for its Carol Avenue Apartments project in Brighton. The Hano Homes project goal is a fully decarbonized building through envelope improvement with embodied carbon storage, full systems electrification, and solar PV for 15 affordable and 5 market rate units. The Carol Avenue Apartments project is the rehab of a historic building with 29 affordable and 4 market rate units through a deep energy retrofit with insulation upgrades and heat pumps are expected to achieve a 55% reduction in site energy use.
Beacon Communities Development LLC will receive $3,000,000 for its Treehouse project in Easthampton. This project is a deep energy retrofit with heating and hot water fully electrified, solar PV and new exterior insulation, air sealing, and triple-pane windows for 55 affordable units and 5 market rate units. This innovative community offers apartments for persons 55 years or older and families who are caring for children from the foster care system.
The Community Builders will receive $960,000 for its Plumley Village project in Worcester and $1,560,000 for its Former Wilson Department Store project in Greenfield. The Plumley Village project will include full electrification of heating, hot water, and cooking for 24 affordable units being rehabbed in a larger building. The project aims for a 30% reduction in energy consumption and Passive House certification. The former Wilson Department Store project is an adaptive reuse of a historic building that includes interior insulation and air infiltration improvements for 39 affordable units including 11 affordable for under 30% AMI. The project goal is passive house certification and an energy cost reduction of 60-70%.
Valley Community Development Corporation will receive $2,080,000 for its Prospect Place project in Northampton. This is an adaptive reuse of a former nursing home. The project will include the installation of a ground source heat pump system and planned installation of a 300 KW solar system for 60 affordable units.
Winn Development will receive $5,880,000 for its The Village at Brookline project in Brookline, MA and $680,000 for the Mission Main Apartments project in Boston. The project will fully electrify heating and hot water, includes 138 kw Solar PV, with air infiltration reduced to passive house levels for 147 units of which 40 are market rate. Energy demand is estimated to be lowered 60%-70%.
Boston Housing Authority will receive $6,360,000 for its Mildred C. Hailey project in Jamaica Plain. The project will electrify heating and cooking, replace the existing roof, upgrade windows and add new exterior insulation and cladding over existing masonry for 159 affordable units. A 40% reduction in GHG emissions and a 21% reduction in energy costs is projected.
The decarbonization of Massachusetts’ existing buildings is a critical component of the Commonwealth’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Projects will improve energy efficiency, install solar panels, make improvements like roof repairs and electrical updates, and electrify buildings through ground and air source heat pumps and other electrical appliances. Applicants seeking over $1 million must commit to providing opportunities for the local workforce. The program will provide significant investments in the building sector, and leverage programs like Mass Save to help affordable housing developments lower emissions and energy use.
The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) administers the program. Funding was derived from the following sources:
$25 million from DOER’s Alternative Compliance Payments
$18.5 million from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Climate Protection and Mitigation Trust
$6.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act
The second round of project review for funding under this grant program is expected to begin in January 2024. The Program Opportunity Notice, available here, identifies private parties, non-profits, municipalities, or other public entities as eligible applicants for the funds. DOER will accept applications on a rolling basis until funds are committed.
Chas Carey, Brookline Town Administrator:
“Brookline is grateful to be one of the first communities to benefit from this innovative initiative. The Healey-Driscoll Administration clearly shares our Select Board’s commitment to building and maintaining affordable housing, combating climate change, and spurring equitable workforce development with well-paying green local jobs. We look forward to continued collaboration between state and local governments to achieve our shared goals and secure Massachusetts’ future.”
Caitlin Robillard, Director of Real Estate Development, Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation:
“We are grateful for DOER’s support on our two upcoming Deep Energy Retrofits in Allston and Brighton, which will reduce energy usage by an average of 60%! The Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Decarbonization Grant Program is exactly what affordable housing developers like our CDC needed. This DOER funding allowed us to close our financing gap on these critical preservation projects, ensuring these affordable housing units will be safe, healthy, and climate resilient for generations to come.”
Kenzie Bok, Administrator, Boston Housing Authority:
“Residents of the Mildred C. Hailey apartments will benefit tremendously from cleaner air, healthier homes and energy efficient heating and cooling. Thank you to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for supporting a sustainable future for public housing communities.”
Willie Pearl Clark, President, Mission Main Tenant Task Force:
“The Mission Main Tenant Task Force applauds the Healey-Driscoll Administration for enabling energy efficiency and electrification in affordable housing. As a tenant led, non-profit organization, this funding is critical for implementing deep energy retrofit solutions in our community, and will generate cost savings for the Tenant Task force as well as lasting impacts for current and future residents.”
Rachana Crowley, Senior Director of Real Estate Development, The Community Builders (TCB):
“The Community Builders is immensely grateful to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for the funding of clean energy and decarbonization efforts at The Putman in Greenfield and Plumley Village in Worcester through its Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Decarbonization Grant Program. With DOER’s support and environmental stewardship, TCB can explore greater energy efficiency and resiliency and enhanced, cleaner living for residents in these communities.”
Christina McPike, Director of Energy and Sustainability, WinnCompanies:
“This critical funding further demonstrates the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s steadfast commitment to climate and housing; two imperatives that the Commonwealth consistently prioritizes. We and our residents are extremely appreciative of the Department of Energy Resources’ leadership and support for decarbonization and efficient electrification at The Village of Brookline.
William Womeldorf, Project Manager, Valley Community Development Corporation Real Estate:
“Valley Community Development is thrilled to receive this award from the Department of Energy Resources to support adaptive re-use of a 70,000 square foot former nursing home to create 60 affordable apartments in Northampton. Because of this DOER grant, we will convert from existing fossil fuel systems to all-electric systems primarily powered by alternative energy sources. New geothermal will fuel heating, cooling, and hot water, while PV will support other electricity needs. Alternative energy such as geothermal is the key to keeping rents affordable amidst rising electricity costs and has untapped potential. We hope this project will catalyze new ways to look at decarbonization in multi-family affordable housing.”