NYCEEC Loans Can Help Affordable Co-ops and Condos Go Green

22 December 2021

For low- and middle-income co-ops and condominiums, the Climate mobilization law looms like a black cloud. The planks of these buildings pose a thorny question: how can we possibly pay for renovations that will reduce the carbon production enough to comply with the law and avoid heavy fines?

A partial response comes from New York City Energy Efficiency Corp. (NYCEEC), a non-profit lender dedicated to financing green energy projects. In collaboration with the municipal service of Preservation and development of housing (HPD), it offers interest-free loans to low- and middle-income co-ops and condos who want to explore ways to increase the energy efficiency of their building. Those pre-development loans can pay for energy audits, architectural and engineering studies, cost savings analysis and scope of work for projects that will reduce a building’s energy costs. These projects include installing solar panels, upgrading windows, doors and building envelope, electrification, battery storage and more.

“In order to get construction funding from HPD, boards need an integrated physical needs assessment,” says Jay merves, the director of business development at NYCEEC. “We are able to provide funding for this pre-development work. What we’re trying to do is encourage these kinds of green measures in affordable housing communities.

For eligible buildings, loans are without interest up to $ 100,000 and wear a 2% to 3% rate for larger loans. Loans generally last for two years and there are no upfront fees. (NYCEEC also administers the Clean energy rated by property loan program, which allows co-ops to pay for energy-efficient renovations through a charge on the property tax bill.)

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“Pre-development loans are not construction loans,” Merves emphasizes. “They’re designed to get building owners to the point where they’re able to get permanent financing. They need a loan to close the gap while they assess the scope of the project. Then they should look for lenders who meet their construction needs.

The pre-development loan program is currently focused on financing small projects in small buildings. “But,” says Merves, “we would like to see pre-development funding of up to $ 5 million.”

During its 11 year existence, NYCEEC has funded the greening of over 11,000 units affordable housing. One of his most notable recent projects has been the funding $ 6.9 million in old-fashioned pre-development costs Greenpoint Hospital campus in Brooklyn, where a $ 213 million net zero energy project will add 310 affordable housing units and redevelop a 200-bed homeless shelter.

“A lot of co-ops and condos may not know that this pre-development money is available to them,” Merves says, adding that boards can get more information by emailing NYCEEC at [email protected] . Visit their website by clicking here.

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