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Feds launch green retrofit program for multifamily housing

June 08, 2011 |
Drew Ballensky

The Obama Administration last week launched Green Refinance Plus, a new program sprung from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that encourages energy-efficient retrofits of thousands of affordable homes. A joint effort between the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae, Green Refinance Plus will help owners of older affordable multifamily properties to go green while refinancing their mortgages at today’s historically low interest rates, according to Shaun Donovan, Secretary for Housing and Urban Development.

Nearly a third of HUD’s Recovery Act funds can be used for making America’s affordable housing stock more efficient, Donovan says. “With these funds, we are on track to provide 245,000 affordable homes with a range of energy improvements, while another 55,000 receive green retrofits that will save up to 40 percent in energy costs.”

While FHA provides additional insurance coverage for the program, Fannie Mae will provide loan underwriting that will generate additional loan proceeds to make green improvements. A typical development will be able to access a loan with what amounts to a 5 percent premium to use for efficiency improvements. For a $5 million loan, that means an additional $250,000 will be available to support green systems and appliances, Donovan says.

Drew Ballensky | Reconstruction Blog

Drew Ballensky is general manager of Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.’s central U.S. facility in Iowa and company spokesman for Duro-Last’s cool roofing, sustainability and architectural education programs. He is past-president of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association and chairman of CFFA’s Vinyl Roofing Division. Drew earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Northern Iowa and master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University.
Drew has over 29 years experience in business and industry in various engineering and managerial capacities. He has worked in the U.S. and Canadian operations for a major international manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings, was a financial analyst with a major athletic apparel manufacturer and was an owner of a general contracting company.

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