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Making Motor City Multifamily Housing More Affordable

Here’s what we know, and we know it well: When we invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and healthy housing improvements in affordable multifamily buildings, we stabilize operating costs, decrease energy use, and provide residents with a higher quality of life.

Detroit knows this, too. Along with Elevate Energy, the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) recently implemented a Multifamily Green Initiative (MGI) to help owners of occupied affordable multifamily properties in underdeveloped areas of Detroit make these important investments in their buildings.

One MGI participant, Develop Detroit, is currently working to improve buildings at University Meadows in Woodbridge and at Marwood Apartments in the North End. Develop Detroit, a part of the Housing Partnership Network, is a mission-based developer with a goal to build vibrant communities through a focus on stabilizing Detroit’s historical neighborhoods and burgeoning business district.

At the same time, Develop Detroit also recognized an all-too-common challenge: A lack of capacity and dedicated staff to evaluate their options and incorporate energy efficiency into project planning. Enter Elevate Energy, LISC, and what we all know well.

  • Laying the Ground Work: Through the Green Asset Management Planning process, we helped Develop Detroit fully articulate the value of energy efficiency investments to both their bottom line and for the tenants of their properties.
  • Savings Potential: We also conducted energy assessments for Develop Detroit’s selected properties, identifying energy efficiency, water efficiency, and solar installation options that could produce up to 47 percent savings.
  • Assistance and Action: During construction planning, we encouraged all developers to utilize BuildingClean.Org to select healthy and local building material. University Meadows was approved for financing utilizing four percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits for water and energy efficiency improvements, and a 120 KW solar system will begin construction in spring 2018.
  • Results: Through the MGI initiative, Develop Detroit is dedicated to finding ways to incorporate all aspects of green building, including energy and water efficiency and solar, in future projects.

We look forward to continued progress from the entire MGI cohort, which includes Develop Detroit, Bridging Communities, U-SNAP-BAC, and the Preservation of Affordable Housing.



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