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Secretaries Granholm and Fudge Tour Better Buildings Partner NHT Communities’ Green Retrofit Program Property

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 06, 2022

On Wednesday, December 15, Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner NHT Communities hosted Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge and DOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm at its Vintage Gardens community in West Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Congressmen Kweisi Mfume and John Sarbanes also joined the visit.

Vintage Gardens was one of the first grant recipients of HUD’s Green Retrofit Program in 2011, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). NHT used its $1.5 million grant to invest in weatherization and efficiency upgrades at this 111-unit property. Upgrades included new ENERGY STAR–rated windows and appliances, R-49 rated water heater insulation, LED lighting, new efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, air sealing, and high-efficiency toilets and faucets.

The Secretaries had the opportunity to speak with NHT’s President and CEO Priya Jayachandran, staff, and residents during their visit to learn about NHT’s energy work. Vintage Garden’s property management team gave Secretary Fudge and Secretary Granholm a tour of a vacant unit to showcase several energy upgrades. The tour culminated in a meeting with one of Vintage Garden’s longtime community members. The resident was proud to show the officials her home, share with them what she loves about Vintage Gardens, and explain how her comfort and utility bills improved after the property received energy upgrades.  

NHT Communities is one of the original members of the Better Buildings multifamily sector, joining the program when it launched in 2013. NHT has participated in the preservation and improvement of more than 42 communities comprising nearly 5,000 affordable units in 13 states and the District of Columbia. They are members of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF). In 2013, they launched Energy Efficiency for All in collaboration with Natural Resources Defense Council, Energy Foundation, and Elevate Energy.

See photos from the event below. 

From Left to Right: Secretary Granholm, Secretary Fudge, NHT CEO Priya Jayachandran; Ms. Jayachadran, NHT Managing Director of Community Outreach and Impact Raisa Johnson, Secretary Granholm, Secretary Fudge, Vintage Gardens resident Ms. Reina, Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume; Secretary Granholm, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Congressman Mfume; Secretary Fudge, Secretary Granholm, Mayor Scott, Ms. Jayachandran