Partners in Innovation: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing through Energy Conservation

April 14

NHC and MacArthur 2010 Boston Forum Banner

Back Bay Events Center • Boston, MA

The National Housing Conference (NHC) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hosted Partners in Innovation: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing Through Energy Conservation in Boston on April 14. Many Northeastern states and local communities are adopting policies to develop and maintain rental homes that are both green and affordable as they look to create a more viable housing stock for future generations. During the forum, leaders in the housing field and related industries shared regional best practices in green rental housing preservation and explored ways to better support this work through innovative partnerships, policy development, and legislative reform. Over 150 stakeholders participated in the forum.

The forum featured an in-depth plenary discussion that touched on five key points including: 1) how best to integrate principles for making rental homes healthier and more energy-efficient in light of tight budgets; 2) appropriate energy-efficient performance standards for multi-family properties; 3) return on investment for green improvements; 4) ways to encourage greener preservation practices in the region; and 5) emerging trends in this ever-changing field.

Agenda at a Glance

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9:30 AM

9:40 AM

Welcoming Remarks

  • Maureen Friar, National Housing Conference

9:40 AM

10:10 AM

Introductory Remarks
How will the Obama Administration’s Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities impact state, regional and local efforts to implement affordable TOD? Join us for this keynote to find out.

  • Vincent O’Donnell, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Tina Brooks, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

10:10 AM

10:35 AM

Keynote Address

  • Secretary Greg Bialecki, State of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and
    Economic Development

10:40 AM

12:00 PM

Plenary Session - "Why Preservation Matters for a Sustainable Future"
The opening plenary session will set the stage for the forum with a discussion about how evolving practice in the field should influence policy work around energy efficiency and healthy construction in affordable multifamily rental housing. The session will feature a dynamic panel that will offer different perspectives on the lessons learned from greening affordable rental housing.

  • Toby Halliday, National Housing Trust (Moderator); Amy Anthony, Preservation of Affordable Housing; Dave Evans, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; Blair Hamilton, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Ted Toon, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

12:10 PM

1:30 PM

Luncheon and Keynote Address

  • Matt Petersen, Global Green USA

View Peterson's PPT slides

2:30 PM

3:15 PM

Interactive Breakout Sessions I (Click on the links to read more about the sessions and view the resources from each panel)

3:30 PM

5:00 PM        

Interactive Breakout Sessions II (Click on the links to read more about the sessions and view the resources from each panel)


 Download the Participant Directory

Download the Participant Resource Packet

Forum Sponsors

NHC gratefully acknowledges the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their generous support and leadership as the overall forum sponsor. NHC also thanks the Barr Foundation for their sponsorship of the networking reception.

Planning Committee

NHC gratefully acknowledges the members of the forum planning committee:

For Additional Information

Please direct questions to Lynn Ross, Director of State and Local Initiatives for NHC and the Center, at or 202-466-2121 ext. 237.

Click here to learn more about the Partners in Innovation regional forum series.



Interactive Breakout Sessions I

Option 1: The Role of the Green Champion
A “green champion” is a person who has the authority within an organization to shepherd the integrated design process from project conception to completion. Hear from two experienced green champions who will share how their actions increase the likelihood that green efforts are
effective and long lasting.

  •  Jane Carbone, Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc.; Shelly Dein, Shelly Dein Consulting

View Carbone's PPT slides

View Dein's PPT slides

Option 2. Scoping Green Renovation
This workshop will not only cover how to scope green renovation projects, but will also address tools for ongoing evaluation and monitoring. Learn how to set the baseline, perform benchmarking and determine long-term benefit.

  • Andrew Shapiro, Energy Balance, Inc.

View Shapiro's PPT slides

Option 3. Green Preservation of Historic Buildings
The session will focus on how to combine historic preservation, affordable housing preservation, and green efforts. The discussion will also include strategies for dealing with National Park Service and tools for greening historic buildings that were never designed for energy efficiency.

  • Gus Seelig, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board; Denny Frehsee, Williams & Frehsee, Inc.; Iric Rex, Mostue & Associates Architects, Inc.; Rebecca Williams, National Trust for Historic Preservation

 View Rex's PPT slides

View Seelig's PPT slides

View Williams's PPT slides 

Option 4. Financing Green Improvements with Energy Savings
Using a recently closed loan as an example, panelists will discuss the challenges of underwriting and the issues encountered in moving the loan to closing. This session will also cover the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, provide an overview other green retrofit pilot loan programs, and highlight the Green Capital Needs Assessment (GCNA) and its importance to making green retrofit financing decisions.

  • Bill Brauner, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (Moderator); Peter Adamczyk, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Alma Balonon-Rosen, Enterprise Community Partners; Darien Crimmin, WinnDevelopment; Ethan Handelman, Recap Real Estate Advisors

View Adamczyk's PPT slides

View Balonon-Rosen and Crimmin's PPT slides

 View Handelman's PPT slides


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Interactive Breakout Sessions II

Option 1. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018. Participate in this session to learn more about RGGI and the funding implications for affordable rental housing preservation.

  • Gus Seelig, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (Moderator); Michael Colgrove, NYSERDA; David Farnsworth, Regulatory Assistance Project; Frank Gorke, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

View Adamczyk's PPT slides

View Colgrove's PPT slides

View Farnsworth's PPT slides

View Gorke's PPT slides


Option 2. Case Studies: Green Preservation in the Field
This session will highlight case studies of green preservation deals with a focus on replicable models and completed deals with measurable data outcomes. Four case studies from three states will explore the challenges, obstacles and successes of green housing preservation.

  • Roger Herzog, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (Moderator); Toby Ast, Preservation of Affordable Housing; Edward Connelly, New Ecology, Inc.; Jessy Olson, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation; Trevor Parsons, Housing Vermont

View Ast's PPT Slides

View Connelly's PPT slides

View Olson's PPT slides

 View Parsons's PPT slides


Option 3. Engaging Tenants and Management in the Benefits of Green Building
Residents and property managers are an important partner to owners of affordable rental property who are pursuing energy efficiency and “going green”. In this session you will learn about efforts by owners, property managers and tenants to set community-based goals and
rewards for saving water and energy, educate residents about green practices in several languages, and track how the green building technologies and operating practices achieve cost savings, as well as better air quality, health and comfort, and pest control. Lower utility bills do motivate, but green benefits don’t start and end there!

  • Debra Hall, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (Moderator); James Brooks, City Life/Vida Urbana; Kathy Tyrrell Luce, Maloney Properties, Inc.; Ellen Tohn, Tohn Environmental

View Tohn's PPT slides


Option 4. Funding Programs for Green Preservation
Join experts in the field for an enlightening discussion about funding programs for green housing preservation. This session will cover a wide range of topics including federal programs such as the Weatherization Assistance Program, state programs such as Massachusetts’s Low Income Multifamily Retrofit Program, and renewable energy tax credits.

  • Vincent O’Donnell, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; David Abromowitz, Center For American Progress; Blair Hamilton, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Noah Maslan, Urban Edge; Todd Nedwick, National Housing Trust

View Abromowitz's PPT slides

View Hamilton's PPT slides

View Nedwick's PPT slides


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