The Biden administration will announce nearly $5 billion in grants and loans to support landowners’ ability to retrofit low-income housing with green technology like solar panels, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The funding will be broken into $837.5 million in grants and $4 billion in loans to implement the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, a provision of President Joe Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), according to the Post. While the IRA already offers tax breaks for making the switch from fossil-fuel-powered appliances to green tech — for example, offering $2,000 to install an electric heat pump — the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program seeks to address the lack of time and resources that low-income Americans may have to take advantage of them.
“Our mission is to make sure that low-income people are participants in what we believe is going to be one of the biggest climate-focused projects across this country,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge told the Post. While the money will not directly go to l0w-income renters, HUD hopes the program — which it hopes will cover tens of thousands of households across hundreds of properties — will lower tenants’ utility bills.
The program also hopes to enhance disaster preparedness by providing funding for reinforced roofing to protect against hurricanes or fireproof shingles to protect houses from fires, the Post reported. One HUD official, who was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly comment on the program, told the Post that the grant program would not be sufficient to reach all 23,495 multifamily assisted housing units.
The Biden administration also announced strict new power plant rules Thursday that effectively require fossil-fuel-fired power plants to adopt green technologies or shut down by 2040. Ahead of the plans’ release, industry groups and energy experts expressed doubt that the carbon capture technology central to the administration’s power plant plan is ready for widespread deployment.
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