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The Commonwealth's Economic Development Bond Bill of 2021 included $10 million to be used to demonstrate how to support sustainable and climate resilient affordable housing over the next five years. Called the Climate Ready Housing Program, the first year will make $1.6 million available for investments that will be leveraged competitively to support two to three highly-rated existing projects that represent achievable and replicable approaches to very low carbon emissions through renovations that are outlined below.

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and MassHousing will administer the program on behalf of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). MHP and MassHousing have engaged with the LISC Boston to assist with the application process and program administration. LISC Boston has created a Climate Ready Program web page with application information coinciding with the opening of the application process on Monday, March 28, 2022. Below are basic details about the program.

Areas of focus (year 1)

Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) – This approach assumes a comprehensive scope of work that includes extensive improvements to the building envelope, resulting in significant energy savings (50 percent or more) and reduced carbon emissions. The building envelope work is leveraged to allow for cost-effective electrification of the building’s HVAC system. Improvements in ventilation to achieve appropriate indoor air quality are required.

Zero Carbon Emissions Over Time (ZOT) – This approach assumes a less significant intervention in the upcoming rehabilitation project than is represented in the DER approach outlined above but reflects thoughtful planning on the part of the project team to capture the pending rehabilitation project as an important piece of a long-term plan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The DER design solution or the ZOT implementation plan must include the following:

  • Substantial envelope improvements to minimize heating and cooling demands;
  • Heat pump-based technology for space heating and cooling;
  • Energy or heat recovery ventilation technology;
  • Plan for electrification of domestic hot water systems (strongly encouraged);
  • Plan for electrification of cooking appliances;
  • Serious consideration of material decisions related to embodied carbon;
  • Maximization of renewable energy systems and integration into project’s capital approach.

Eligibility guidelines

The Climate Ready Housing Program is available for public, nonprofit, and for-profit multifamily affordable housing sponsors. At least 25 percent of occupants must have incomes not exceeding 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). For more information, read the Climate Ready Housing notice of funding availability.

Application schedule

  • Monday, March 28, 2022: Pre-application opens
  • Friday, April 22, 2022: Pre-application deadline
  • Monday, May 9, 2022: Application opens
  • Friday, June 3, 2022: Application deadline
  • Summer 2022: First round funding announcements

Go to LISC's Climate Ready Program web page for more information.