The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles announced a program Wednesday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy and water use in low-income, multi-family properties, particularly in the Eastern San Fernando Valley.
With support from a Department of Water and Power grants program, the Green Affordable Housing Program will provide tenant education, property owner and manager project and rebate support, the installation of heat pump space and water heating technology, community electric vehicle charging, indoor air and water quality monitoring, and net-zero technology pilots.
The program also receives support from the Quick Start Grant from TECH Clean California and the CalEPA Environmental Justice state programs.
“From an equity standpoint it is critically important we address decarbonization and occupant health for our multi-family housing in low-income communities, otherwise we will only continue to exacerbate the inequalities heightened by the impacts of climate change,” USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton said.
“This program targets head-on our biggest challenge in decarbonizing our buildings in L.A., which are those apartment buildings built in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, accounting for the majority of our residential energy use and in desperate need of modernization, as well as the support to get there,” he added.
The program will prioritize communities in City Council Districts 2, 6 and 7 in the San Fernando Valley. The area was selected for experiencing disproportionate impacts of climate change, including heat and poor air quality, as well as the high amount of industrial activity and emissions from busy streets and freeways.
A total of 20 buildings, split between two cohorts, will participate in the program with the first cohort this year and the second cohort in 2023. USGBC-LA said it expects to reach at least 1,500 residents.
The program’s core goals are to:
— educate tenants in English and Spanish on building efficiency and occupant health to help them reduce costs for energy and water;
— facilitate building retrofits, including through enrollment in LADWP programs and rebates;
— support retrofitting for 20 buildings in the Eastern San Fernando Valley, including through the installation of community electric vehicle charging stations;
— install a free or highly subsidized heat pump space and water heating technology to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions; and
— install indoor air quality monitors and water tests.
“Part of our role at USGBC-LA is to help both property managers and individuals move through the process of greening their buildings and the spaces they occupy,” Stapleton said. “We want to make sure they aren’t wasting their precious time nor resources, and education is a key part of that, not just an understanding of the terms involved, but knowing who and what information to trust. We are here as a resource and partner in working through these challenges.”
Building owners can apply for the program at bit.ly/3sApyrW.