HUD recently announced its support for Washington, D.C.’s “Solar for All” program to ensure that residents of HUD-assisted properties in the District are able to access the program without experiencing an increase in their housing costs. HUD's announcement came soon after the Biden administration issued a fact sheet on cost-saving clean energy opportunities to combat the climate crisis which highlighted the solar energy program for HUD-assisted residents.
One level deeper: Solar is an important component of HUD’s Climate Action Plan. The plan notes that the Department is committed to advancing the goals of Executive Order 13985, which requires HUD to allocate resources in a manner that equitably invests in underserved communities, especially communities of color.
D.C.’s “Solar for All” initiative aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 families with low to moderate incomes in the District of Columbia. HUD has determined that D.C. Solar for All’s community-net-metering (CNM) credits will be excluded from household income and utility allowance calculations and therefore will not induce a rent increase or utility allowance adjustment for residents in properties participating in HUD Multifamily rental assistance programs.
HUD is also updating guidance to allow residents of affordable housing to better access cost-saving community solar subscriptions and reviewing guidance to allow Public Housing Authorities to more easily enter into power purchase agreements for low-cost clean energy.
One Takeaway: In a growing number of states, community solar helps ensure that low- to moderate-income renters and residents of multifamily buildings directly benefit from the transition to clean energy. As part of HUD’s commitment to furthering more efficient, sustainable, and equitable housing, HUD is looking to work with states and localities to ensure that the benefits of such programs, like California’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program and D.C.’s Solar for All program, are accessed by HUD residents.
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