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Building Owners and NYC in 2050

Impacts building owners need to know

NYC has two significant commitments that impact building owners:
to build or preserve 300,000 units of Affordable Housing over 10 years,and to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050

New York City has made two major commitments in the last few years, preserving 300,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade while simultaneously trying to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emission by 80% by 2050. These two commitments intersect at the core of KC3’s central mission of serving and raising the needs for affordable housing as an integral part of the city’s plan to decarbonize its buildings in the next several decades. Through our programs and advocacy work, we attempt to connect this universe of buildings to incentive programs that will help preserve their affordability status while they pursue compliance to Local Law 97 (LL97) that demands decarbonization efforts in lieu of hefty fines.

Under the Climate Mobilization Act, the city committed to moving towards carbon neutrality, striving to cut 80% of their emissions by 2050. Central to the Climate Mobilization Act is Local Law 97, a law that requires most buildings over 25,000 square feet to reduce their carbon emissions below increasingly stringent carbon thresholds leading up to 2050. It’s common knowledge that New York’s affordable housing has limited reserves—to accomodate that an alternative pathway was included in LL97, providing affordable housing that’s subject to the law a more feasible route to compliance. As a part of the roll out of LL97, the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice established the New York City Accelerator, a service that provides free guidance to buildings subject to LL97.

KC3 provides account management to affordable housing through the NYC Accelerator. We support affordable housing decision-makers by providing guidance, connecting them to burden-mitigating resources, and offering assistence throughout their endeavor to reach LL97 building compliance. Through the Accelerator program we have assisted in the completion of over 2,000 energy efficiency and local law compliance projects and have engaged almost 2,000 affordable buildings that are subject to LL97 out of the 9,000 buildings that are designated affordable and subject to LL97.

Through KC3’s work on the NYC Accelerator, as well as our various affordable multifamily programs and pilots, we have seen the proactive effort and desire of affordable housing representatives who are working towards compliance. They face many challenges however despite their proactive efforts toward compliance; lack of funding, guidance, and the lack of understanding of them as a demographic by policy makers. These are insurmountable roadblocks for affordable housing representatives to overcome as they attempt to comply with the city’s decarbonization goals.

NYS’ and NYC’s desire to move all buildings towards electrification to meet climate change goals, while admirable, have failed to account for the funding and precautions necessary for affordable housing to succeed. The failure is two fold—for to helping affordable housing electrify, and to preserve affordable housings’ affordability itself, if electrification costs are passed down to tenants.

While it is imperative to move the city towards carbon neutrality, New York must consider how to move forward equitably. New York must recognize, and mitigate, the (unintended) consequences unequitable initiatives may have on the most vulnerable communities—especially affordable housing.

At KC3, we continue to advocate for the preservation of affordable housing not only by connecting affordble housing to existing decarbonization resources, but also by continuing to elevate the concerns and necessary actions required by policy makers to provide and safeguard inclusive solutions. Decarbonization and preserving affordable housing in our city are not seperate concerns.

Briefing: KC3 impact & the NYC Accelerator

By Kinetic Communities

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