RIHousing Issues Inaugural Sustainability Bonds to Support Affordable Housing
Almost 700 apartments to include energy efficient and sustainable building features
PROVIDENCE, RI – RIHousing announced the issuance of $73.6 million of new bonds, the first ‘Sustainability Bonds’ to be offered by the agency. The sale of the bonds will fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of 752 rental homes for low and moderate-income Rhode Islanders.
“Rhode Island is leading in the fight against climate change. Here in the Ocean State, we’re committed to reducing our energy consumption and protecting our natural resources,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “I applaud RIHousing for utilizing all available tools to increase investments in affordable housing while reducing our carbon footprint and providing meaningful savings for residents.”
RIHousing will disburse the bond proceeds and has already identified housing developments that will utilize the funding to incorporate green and energy efficient building practices into rental properties. Multi-family developments are located in Newport (Harbor House), North Providence (Centredale Manor and Mineral Spring Gardens), Pawtucket (Prospect Heights III) and Woonsocket (Trio Partners). The majority of units are required to serve extremely low income households with incomes at or below 30% of AMI (or $24,250 for a family of four). Units at four of the developments (Harbor House, Mineral Spring Gardens, Trio Partners, and Centredale Manor) are expected to be occupied exclusively by elderly or disabled tenants or tenants of age 62 or older.
“Building upon the growing interest in socially responsible investments, these bonds will enable RIHousing to maximize funding for affordable housing while ensuring these rental homes are energy efficient, safe and healthy,” said Nicolas P. Retsinas, Chairman of the RIHousing Board of Commissioners. “Offering these bonds as ‘Sustainability Bonds’ allows investors to invest directly in bonds that finance affordable housing in Rhode Island, promote environmental benefits, stimulate economic growth, and revitalize local communities.”
Sustainability Bonds can reduce energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels while creating good homes and well-paying jobs in the construction industry. They are an important opportunity for investors seeking to make socially impactful investments and critical for attracting funding to communities to benefit some of the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders.
“RIHousing has a deep commitment to sustainability, green building technologies and energy efficiency to help preserve and protect natural resources while also reducing housing costs for residents,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “RIHousing values and promotes healthy, durable, high quality, affordable construction, and ultimately, the cost-effective combination of sustainable building processes and affordable housing construction.”
Selected developments will undergo rehabilitation to incorporate one or more energy efficiency standards and features. These standards are designed to ensure that the housing units are economical, comfortable, durable, healthy, energy efficient and attractive. Work may include the installation of energy efficient windows, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, upgraded unit and common area ventilation and exhaust, Virtual Net Metering to offset 100% of a building’s electric costs and water conservation features.
RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing provides loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations. For more information regarding RIHousing, visit www.RIHousing.com or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.