Federal agencies have been busy rolling out the funds from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). With proper planning, multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) property owners can “braid” these dollars into capital stacks for projects that incorporate solar and storage, heat pump HVAC and hot water, health and safety measures, electric vehicle charging, and more – all at minimal cost to them.
Recent months have seen a flurry of updates. For example, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development began making awards under the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, with additional application rounds through mid-2024. The IRS opened applications for the bonus Investment Tax Credit for PV solar and storage, and MFAH should apply before November 18, 2023. The Dept. of Energy (DOE) opened state energy offices’ application window for the approx. $9 billion Home Energy Rebate programs. The Environmental Protection Agency closed application windows for the three Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program opportunities totaling $27 billion. The DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program funds are already in play, but there is still an opportunity for the industry to influence states to allocate those funds towards multifamily.
The time to plan for accessing all this money and funding opportunities is now, and finite. This should take several forms, including:
- Advocacy – Pushing state and federal agencies to design programs that, as a minimum, allow multifamily housing to access the incentives, but ideally set aside funds for multifamily housing.
- Planning for Bridge Funding – grant funds and tax credits are paid after the project is completed and certified as such. However, contractors will need funds upfront to start work. Bridge financing can enable MFAH property owners to access loans for projects that can be repaid once the IRA incentives are in hand.
To learn more, download ICAST’s free Resource Guide on pulling IRA and BIL funds into the MFAH market.
About the author:
Ravi Malhotra is the Founder and President of ICAST, a national nonprofit that creates holistic retrofit solutions for MFAH. He has 30+ years of experience designing, launching, and managing programs to benefit this segment.