Green Affordable Housing in Northern California

The Green Portfolio Analysis, Sustainability and Support (PASS) Program

In July 2012, Enterprise launched Green PASS in Northern California. The program works with BayArea housing nonprofits to preserve and to green existing affordable housing properties through recapitalizing assets and strengthening organizational capacity.

Green PASS is a multi-year program that uses the tools and knowledge of Enterprise Green Communities and other Enterprise national initiatives to maximize the economic and environmental potential of existing affordable housing. Enterprise has a long history in greening residential properties and has developed a number of tools to meet the goal of greening all affordable housing by 2020. Green PASS is a conduit to ensure that affordable housing owners can access the full range of Enterprise technical assistance and financial services to address their portfolio needs and the gaps in their current green practices.

The Green PASS Approach

Enterprise uses a portfolio-wide services approach to evaluate the financial, physical and operational components of an organization’s assets. Owners of affordable housing develop and execute project-specific recapitalization strategies for the needed capital improvements and adoption of green efficiency measures.

Green PASS also provides organizations with technical assistance to evaluate the utility consumption and physical attributes of properties to inform decisions about which properties to target and which efficiency measures to adopt and prioritize. Additionally, Green PASS assesses the green operations and maintenance practices of each owner and addresses gaps in standard operating procedures by providing training sessions and fostering a peer-to-peer learning community.

Green Funding and Technical Assistance

Enterprise offers a number of free tools and resources in addition to grants and financing opportunities to help organizations develop and preserve green affordable housing.

Funding opportunities include:

  • Fannie Mae Green Refinance Plus: Favorably-termed permanent financing is offered to support the green retrofit and general capital improvements of existing affordable housing properties.
  • Enterprise Green Communities Resources: Enterprise created the Green Communities Criteria, the first national framework for green affordable housing. Enterprise has also developed several tools including best practices in resident engagement and the greening of operations and maintenance. 

The Bay Area Multifamily (BAM) Fund

The BAM Fund is a green retrofit financing program that provided favorably-termed loans to finance the cost of energy efficiency and water conservation measures in existing affordable multifamily housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The fund’s core goal is to prove that hard debt can be reliably underwritten to projected energy savings. The BAM Fund is no longer originating loans. Enterprise has transitioned the fund into its permanent phase. Now, Enterprise monitors the accuracy of audits in projecting energy savings and the pilot properties’ ability to support debt sized in accordance to these projections.

BAM Fund features include:

  • Comprehensive, investment-grade energy audits based on the fund’s energy audit protocol (all audits conducted only by approved auditors)
  • Technical support in evaluating audit results and creating an optimal energy and water conservation scope of work
  • Retrofit financing
  • Assistance in packaging energy incentives to accompany a loan, including local weatherization funds
  • Quality assurance and verification inspections provided upon completion of retrofit work

The Green Retrofit pilot program is part of Enterprise’s Affordable Multifamily Retrofit Initiative. The BAM Fund has received generous support from the California Energy Commission, the San Francisco Foundation and the Kendeda Fund. Enterprise is a managing partner of the BAM Fund along with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, the program sponsor, and the Low-Income Investment Fund.

The nonprofit affordable housing developers participating in the pilot are Community Housing Partnership, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.