Multifamily Partners Expand Solar for Affordable Housing with Innovative Financing Model

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 14, 2020

Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners are challenging the misperception that solar power is an amenity reserved for middle- and upper-income households. Using an innovative financing model called “portfolio-level solar,” six Challenge partners have installed 8.4 MW of solar PV in affordable multifamily properties.

Championed by Better Buildings Challenge partner NHT Communities, the model involves non-profit affordable housing owners setting up an independent business entity to purchase and own solar PV systems on buildings across their portfolios. This allows the organizations to take advantage of tax credits and avoid the financial complexities of more traditional types of financing. Better Buildings partners Denver Housing Authority, LINC Housing, BRIDGE Housing, Jonathan Rose Companies, and Silver Street Group have joined with NHT to implement the model.

Continuing the trend, in November 2019, Jonathan Rose Companies’ subsidiary, Rose Solar I, closed a $2.9 million renewable energy deal that will fund the development of nearly 1 MW of rooftop solar PV at six affordable housing properties in the Northeast. NHT-Ingenuity served as codeveloper, helping the Rose Solar team identify feasible projects by evaluating roof age and condition, property location, utility programs, property business plans, and ownership structures. The properties will enter into 20-year energy services agreements to access low-cost, discounted green power, generating finances that will enable the properties to provide additional services to residents.

Read more about this approach in the NHT Renewable Solar Financing Implementation Model.