LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles today announced a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy and water consumption in low-income, multi-family properties, especially in the eastern San Fernando Valley.
With the support of a Department of Water and Power grant program, the Green Affordable Housing Program will provide tenant education, project and reimbursement support for property owners and managers, installation of heat pump and water heating technology, community electric vehicle charging, indoor air and water quality monitoring and net zero technology pilot projects.
The program also receives support from the TECH Clean California Quick Start Grant and the state CalEPA Environmental Justice programs.
‘From an equity perspective, it’s critically important that we address decarbonization and the health of the occupants of our multi-family housing in low-income communities, or we’ll only exacerbate the inequalities exacerbated 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 Los Angeles, which are those apartment buildings built in the 60s, 70s and 80s, accounting for the majority of our residential energy consumption and having desperately need modernization, as well as the support to make it happen,” he added.
The program will prioritize communities in San Fernando Valley City Council Districts 2, 6, and 7. The area was selected for having suffered disproportionate impacts from climate change, including heat and poor air quality, as well as high industrial activity and emissions from busy streets and highways.
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 main objectives of the program are:
— educate tenants in English and Spanish about building efficiency and occupant health to help them reduce energy and water costs;
— facilitating building renovations, including enrollment in LADWP programs and discounts;
— support the modernization of 20 buildings in the Eastern San Fernando Valley, including the installation of community charging stations for electric vehicles;
— install free or heavily subsidized heat pump and water heating technology to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions; and
— installing indoor air quality monitors and water testing.
“Part of our role at USGBC-LA is to help property managers and individuals go through the process of greening their buildings and the spaces they occupy,” Stapleton said. “We want to make sure they’re not wasting their valuable time or 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 to meet these challenges.”
Building owners can apply for the program at https://bit.ly/3sApyrW.