One-Stop Partnership for Multifamily Housing
This spring, Center for Energy and Environment is coming together with five of our closest regional housing and energy allies to develop a toolbox of new, one-stop support services for Minnesota’s multifamily building owners and managers.
For many years, CEE, Neighborhood Energy Connection, Minnesota Multi Housing Association, Family Housing Fund, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and Elevate Energy have collaborated in twos and threes on various projects — but until now the six of us had never worked together quite like this, behind one shared vision: We aim to increase efficiencies in Minnesota’s multifamily housing, especially among low- income populations.
“Multifamily housing” means all residential buildings — from rented apartments to owned condos — that provide separate living spaces for more than one family. Our “One-Stop Partnership for Multifamily Housing” intends to take advantage of each partner’s strengths to lower utility bills in multifamily properties by developing a one-stop, easy-to-use energy-efficiency program tailored for the multifamily sector. In addition to the group’s combined operational power and our strong network of housing and energy field relationships, we’re also exploring financing options to help owners in need of significant improvements.
Minnesota’s families are looking for relief from high utility bills. As a group, we know from experience that cost-effective improvements can lead to big savings. The One- Stop Partnership’s collective knowledge and resources give us power to hit above our individual weights, to develop more comprehensive solutions for even greater efficiencies.
Aligned with goals set in the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, Minnesota’s utility companies develop Conservation Improvement Program to help customers become more energy efficient. Leveraging a wealth of experience and capacity, the One-Stop Partnership is well positioned to add value to these utility-funded programs. (For example, potential access to additional loan financing to complete improvements would help to create a true one-stop program; it isn’t embedded in most other utility programs.)
With our shared goal to create one-stop efficiency services — from assessments to technical support and financing — our Partnership will rely on each partner’s unique strengths:
- Has assessed more than 2,000 multifamily buildings throughout Minnesota
- Conducts ongoing, nation-leading research into new ways to save energy in multifamily buildings
- Runs the Multifamily Energy Savings Program for Minnesota Energy Resources, which serves 216,000 people in 165 communities statewide
- Minnesota’s leading energy auditing organization
- Leading energy efficiency consultant for Minnesota's affordable housing sector on meeting new construction and rehabilitation standards.
- Strong connections to housing community serving low-income people, both in the Twin Cities (FHFund) and Greater Minnesota (GMHF)
- Co-founders of Minnesota Green Communities
- Partners in the Consolidated RFP with Minnesota Housing and others
- Provides financing capacity for existing buildings that need significant improvements
- Represents more than 300,000 housing units and 2,100 members statewide as the voice of Minnesota’s multi housing industry
- Strong state-wide network of engaged members and local chapters
- National leader in providing training for multi housing building owners and managers
- Nationally recognized leader in one-stop multifamily energy efficiency program design, including technical and operations support for regional organizations developing their own programs
Even though we’re building on decades of successful collaborations across multiple organizations and projects, this Partnership marks a whole new level of shared effort for multifamily housing efficiency. This summer we’re planning to develop a strategic plan to put our vision into action, continuing a series of long-running discussions toward a collaborative approach.
As we move forward to refine the strategies that will best serve multifamily building owners and managers and Minnesota’s families, we welcome your input and questions! Please leave thoughts for the group below, or contact me directly.