November 2022 Policy Blog

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Kristen Cheriegate  |  ICAST Policy Analyst

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Department of Housing and Urban Development Receives Multifamily Program Comments

On October 27, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) closed its Request for Information (RFI) to obtain public input regarding the development of its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP). The RFI sought guiding information on prioritizing the GRRP’s work, treatment of cost-benefit analyses, and key design elements that will ensure program goals are met. HUD expects to make multiple funding rounds available to support energy and water retrofits and climate resilience of HUD-assisted multifamily properties.

The IRS is Working to Deliver Inflation Reduction Act Tax Incentives

With the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) passage in August, the IRS has been brought to the forefront of the Federal Government’s renewable energy push. Of the nearly $370 billion of climate spending in the new law, about $270 billion will be delivered through tax incentives for electric vehicles, energy-efficient buildings, solar power, and other “clean” energy technologies. To support these efforts, the IRS has issued six notices asking for comments on different aspects of extension and enhancements of energy tax benefits in the IRA; they anticipate that these comments will “aid the agency in drafting guidance items most reflective of the needs to taxpayers entitles to claim energy credits.”

New York Solar Program to Serve Nearly 175,000 Underserved Residents

New York’s Expanded Solar For All program, approved by the State’s Public Service Commission in January, will serve nearly 175,000 income-eligible customers in National Grid’s upstate service areas once fully implemented. The announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) mandate for at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments be directed to Disadvantaged Communities. An additional round of projects is expected to be selected next year.

White House Announces New Affordable Housing Actions

The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced the progress status of its Housing Supply Action Plan. In addition to the work federal agencies have undertaken to reduce barriers to building and preserving affordable housing, the White House announced the following measures:

  1. Finalizing regulations that make it easier to build mixed-income housing, housing that includes very-low-income tenants, and housing in sparsely populated rural areas by reforming the income guidelines for the main source of financing for affordable housing — Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs).
  2. Extending LIHTC deadlines to ensure that affordable housing projects delayed by public health, economic, and supply-chain issues can be built as expeditiously as possible and still qualify for LIHTCs.
  3. Reforming and streamlining a financing program at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that will make it easier to build homes for rent by providing more affordable financing for multifamily housing construction.
  4. Continuing to promote more housing options near transit and other modes of transportation, coordination of transportation and housing planning, and rewarding jurisdictions that have removed barriers to housing development.

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