Natural Resources Defense Council: “How HUD Can Address the Crisis of Housing & Climate Change”

A new blog by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) explores major housing proposals made by President Biden and explains how housing represents a key element of the president’s climate strategy, which calls for reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock 50% by 2035. The blog’s author, Khalil Shahyd, senior policy advocate at NRDC, recommends that HUD establish an Office of Climate Resilience and take on a “much larger role in the provision of energy efficiency services for affordable housing, particularly multifamily housing as part of a national climate mitigation strategy.” Among other recommendations, Shahyd urges HUD to create a robust affordable housing retrofit grant program, which would offer grants or loans for energy efficiency upgrades, health and safety measures, electrification, and solar panels in multifamily affordable housing.

“Many of the provisions in President Biden’s legislative proposal are a direct response to the acute needs generated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Shahyd. “However, they also would deliver important, long-term improvements to critical housing and social safety net programs necessary to creating a more just response to the climate crisis. The rise in frequency of climate-induced extreme weather events only increases the pressure on an already anemic federal housing infrastructure…Housing has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change and must be seen as front and center to that effort.”

NRDC is a steering committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign. To read the blog, click here.

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