Kilroy Green Housing Bill Spins Forward on Earth Day

Washington, DC – April 22, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy’s (OH-15) bill HR 4099, the Energy Efficiency Modernization Act passed the House Financial Services Committee as part of HR 2336, the GREEN Act (Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods) by a voice vote. The bipartisan bill passed on Earth Day and will next move to the floor of the full House of Representatives.

“I’m pleased that the GREEN Act is moving forward with the Energy Efficiency Modernization Act to create jobs, give real savings, allow for investments and promote energy efficiency on Earth Day,” said Kilroy. It’s my hope that as we enter into a new energy economy bills like this one create opportunities for prosperity and growth in central Ohio.”

The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act would establish a “green dividend” program to incentivize federally assisted housing owners who take adequate steps to decrease energy costs of their respective properties. Improving the energy efficiency of federally assisted housing by 25 to 40 percent would result in substantial savings for taxpayers at roughly $1 billion to $1.5 billion annually.

Kilroy’s bill was recently honored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on a Top 10 List of legislation helping to advance green building along with the economic activity and jobs. The bill is also supported by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association, the Council for Energy Friendly Affordable Housing, and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

The American Institute of Architects published a report on the potential job creation from the bipartisan GREEN Act and found that the bill could create or save as many as 140,000 jobs in the building design and construction industry every year. The bill provides incentives to lenders and financial institutions which would help move our housing and building stock towards greater energy efficiency, creating jobs and making places to live and work more sustainable and affordable.

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) is a sponsor of Kilroy’s bill.

Other key provisions in the GREEN Act include:

· Providing incentives for new and existing structures financed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to meet or exceed the minimum energy efficiency standards established in the bill.

· Directing HUD to establish a four-year, 50,000-unit demonstration program to highlight the cost effectiveness of funding a portion of the costs of meeting the enhanced HUD energy efficiency standards. In addition, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is encouraged to insure at least 50,000 energy efficient mortgages by December 31, 2012. As FHA begins seeking these types of mortgages, a market will emerge among homebuilders, home owners and lenders seeking to acquire federal insurance on mortgage products.

· Providing resources to the non-profit and for-profit community organizations to extend the availability of energy efficient products for existing homes.

· Establishing a residential energy efficiency block grant program, according to established formulas under the community development block grant program, to distribute grants for the sole purpose of improving the energy-efficiency of single-family or multi-family housing, with preference given to projects that meet the efficiency standards highlighted in section 5(b) of the reported bill.

· Creating partnerships are with the Secretary and planting organizations to promote energy efficient location of buildings and utilize landscape architecture, including strategically planted trees, shrubs and grass, aimed at improving energy efficiency and sustainability.

· Requiring HUD to insure certain loans made by qualified energy lenders to finance the acquisition of renewable energy systems for use at residential properties. This provision will improve the accessibility of leased renewable energy systems for home dwellers.

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