Community Solar and Affordable Housing - Free CE Webinar

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Community Solar and Affordable Housing - Free CE Webinar

You will learn "community solar and affordable housing".

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About this event

Solar energy programs can be a solution to address both climate and housing disparities, but the benefits from traditional solar programs have difficulty reaching residents of subsidized affordable housing. Barriers to participation include the upfront costs for affordable housing owners, as well as the split incentives between building owners and renters, the latter of which lack the agency to install solar on their buildings. In most cases, access to community solar programs is the only way to make it possible for households with housing subsidies to participate in solar programs, and in turn support the necessary deployment of renewable energy to combat climate change.

Recently, SAHF, along with National Housing Trust reviewed the challenges and opportunities to bringing community solar to affordable housing residents. In response to this overview and other advocacy efforts, HUD has released a series of guidance documents that begin to provide more equitable access to community solar.

GHI Environmental Jusice Series

This session is part of GHI's Green Homes for All where it is our understanding many BIPOC communities do not have acesss to green housing opportunities, are exposed to higher level pollution becaue of this and typically they can be better engaged on residential green building topics. Our goal is to help breakdown these barriers.

Continuing Education Units (CEUS) 1 hour in

  • Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI) NonWholeHouse
  • American Institute of Architects - AIA (LU) (PENDING)
  • Certified Green Professional (NARI & CGP)
  • Certified GreenHome Professional (CGHP): Place
  • AIBD
  • State Architect / Builder License may be applicable

Lessons Learned:

  1. Understand what community solar is and how programs are targeting affordable housing.
  2. Understand the barriers that affordable housing owners and residents face in accessing community solar.
  3. Review the recently released HUD guidance documents and identify the barriers they remove.
  4. Identify opportunities for accessing community solar in your location.

Instructors: Lauren Westmoreland, Lauren Ross

Lauren Westmoreland leads SAHF’s environmental initiatives, including the Bringing Sustainability Home (BSH), a cross-cutting energy and health initiative that aims to ensure that low-income residents and communities have equal access to critical environmental and health benefits. In addition to BSH, Ms. Westmoreland is building upon the success of the Big Reach to support SAHF members in identifying scalable solutions for a low-carbon future that benefits low-income resident andcommunities and mitigates the impact of climate change.

Prior to joining SAHF, Ms. Westmoreland led the Enterprise Green Communities state and local policy initiative at Enterprise Community Partners and developed and led the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Built Environment portfolio. Ms. Westmoreland served as an AmeriCorps where she became a HERS Rater for SystemVision, an energy efficiency programserving the North Carolina single-family affordable housing sector.

Ms. Westmoreland is a Registered Architect in North Carolina and a LEED AP. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master's degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University.

Lauren Ross is the Senior Advisor for Housing and Sustainability in the Multifamily Office at HUD. She came to HUD from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) where she served as Senior Director of Policy, overseeing state and local policy work as well as utility regulation. Much of her career, she has worked to expand policies and programs to improve energy use in underserved communities, with an emphasis on advancing inclusive clean energy solutions in affordable housing. In her new role at HUD, she continues to promote clean energy as a tool to make communities more economically vibrant, healthier, and adaptable in the face of climate change. Lauren has a PhD in Urban Sociology from Temple University.

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