As energy prices climb, much like everything else recently, the Biden administration announced through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that new measures are being put in place to help families served by HUD go green and install solar panels that will lower their electricity bills.
According to their announcement, more than 4.5 million low-income families are served by various HUD programs. The agency’s goal is to connect these low-income families to programs in their regional and local offices to highlight federal funding sources, including funding streams from President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act. and HUD programs such as the Home Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development. Block Grant HOME and CDBG that can be used to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs for communities, including HUD-assisted properties and residents.
“The combination of extreme heat and rising utility prices creates a perfect storm, and HUD-assisted families and communities are among the most vulnerable,” the secretary said. Marcia L. Fudge. “The measures announced today by the Biden administration will not only help families reduce utility costs, but will also provide HUD-assisted residents with the opportunity to participate in the clean energy economy through local community solar programs.”
New guidelines to connect families to community solar power
Hud posted a national orientation bulletin to help ensure residents of HUD-assisted housing can access these cost-effective community solar programs. With their guidance, HUD shows that the 4.5 million families using its services could benefit from community solar programs that could reduce its members’ energy bills by about 10% or more.
Utility program for small frozen rural rolling bases
This program enables small, rural housing authorities to retain utility cost savings through efficiency or capital investments in conservation measures. Today’s announcement includes a new educational campaign and partnership to encourage wider use of the incentive and help housing authorities partner with weather providers to access efficiency measures low cost energy. HUD will also be publish a list eligible regions and buildings they own, and updated income eligibility requirements for the Department of Energy’s weatherization program. Click here to learn more about the Small Rural Frozen Rolling Base program.
FHA 203(k) Rehab Mortgage Insurance Program
HUD has recognized the urgent need to save on utility costs. It therefore strives to educate lenders and homebuyers about products offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for energy-efficient upgrades that can help homeowners reduce their energy costs.
The 203(k) Mortgage Rehabilitation Insurance Program is the FHA’s premier program for the rehabilitation and repair of single-family properties. It is flexible and makes it easy to incorporate repair costs into a loan when buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage. Eligible improvements include energy-efficient upgrades, energy-efficient equipment, and energy production improvements. The 203(k) Limited Mortgage allows buyers and homeowners to finance up to $35,000 on their mortgage to repair, improve or upgrade their home. In Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs), the amount can be as high as $50,000 per home, enough to make a range of significant and cost-effective energy upgrades.
FHA Education and Awareness
- HUD Homeownership Centers offer training sessions on FHA products, programs, and policies throughout the year, including the 203(k), Energy Efficient Mortgage, Weatherization, and Solar and Wind programs. These trainings are offered live and can be recorded; an example is the 2022 Single Family Housing Lender Training—Credit subscription: Session II carried out in June.
- The FHA is considering ways to make it easier for lenders and consumers to use the 203(k) mortgage rehabilitation program to make a range of home improvements, including those related to climate change mitigation and improving energy efficiency. When these changes are in place, FHA will execute a strong education and awareness plan to inform consumers and lenders.
- FHA works with the appraiser community to develop strategies to ensure single-family appraisers are aware of approaches to appraising energy-related improvements and risk mitigation.