DC Green Bank today announced the closing of its first Navigator pre-development loan, with local nonprofit affordable housing developer Mi Casa, Inc. The $255,728, 1.99% interest rate Navigator loan will support the financing of pre-development costs for a mixed-use and mixed-income construction project in Ward 5. The completed building is expected to deliver 27 units of affordable housing in addition to 3,000 square feet of new office space on the ground floor for Mi Casa’s headquarters as well as additional space for community use. The envisioned building will meet a critical need by constructing units that are available to District residents in the range of 30% – 80% of area median income (AMI) as well as providing rental housing across the spectrum of needs – for singles, seniors, larger families, and more. In addition, the building design aims to achieve “near net zero” energy efficiency standards, prioritize the placement of solar on the roof of the structure, and deliver designated green spaces around the building for residents. As currently envisioned, the final construction costs for the new building are likely to be around $13 million.

Navigator, a pre-development loan offered by DC Green Bank in partnership with Inclusive Prosperity Capital, is aimed at filling a crucial gap at this stage in the evolution of projects that often goes unfilled by private capital providers. Navigator is unique in the way that it meets this need, in particular by delivering a 1.99% interest rate for affordable multifamily and nonprofit properties and a 3.99% interest rate for market rate and commercial properties. Furthermore, given the gap in private financing at the pre-development stage and the frequent hesitance on the part of private capital providers to deliver smaller loans, Navigator loans can range anywhere from as low as $10,000 and reach up to $250,000, or more on a case-by-case basis. These loans can cover costs related to energy efficiency improvement projects, energy audits and benchmarking, design and engineering work, green charrettes, and similar costs to ensure that efficiency and sustainability elements are incorporated at the very earliest stages of project development.

This partnership and investment are in line with Mayor Bowser’s affordable housing and climate goals: at least 12,000 units of affordable housing by 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the District 50% below 2006 levels by 2032, respectively. DC Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson said of the project, “We are excited to be working with Mi Casa as the first recipient of our Navigator loan product. Since we are aligned in mission, together we can showcase the incredible intersection of affordable housing, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable design in a way that is replicable across the District. We are eager to continue to fill financing gaps for similar projects in the months ahead and show that we can meet rising affordable housing needs and achieve our climate and energy goals simultaneously.”

One of the bank’s core values is Inclusive Prosperity, meaning that investments made in the District must deliver an inclusive and affordable DC, across all eight Wards and for all residents and community institutions. In line with this value, the DC Green Bank Board of Directors has made it a priority to support investments at the nexus of affordable housing and sustainability. Priya Jayachandran, member of the Board of Directors said of this investment, “In order to provide the variety of housing required to meet residents’ needs, investments in organizations like Mi Casa are critical. Our mission requires that we fill these critical financing gaps to deliver on behalf of our communities, and the Board will continue to support more projects like this.”

By pairing affordable housing developments with sustainable design, Mi Casa continues to demonstrate a commitment to delivering healthier, more affordable, and more inclusive spaces for District residents that are all too often overlooked. Elin Zurbrigg, Deputy Director of Mi Casa, said of the upcoming project, “We have a key role to play to meet the rapidly increasing affordable housing needs of our city’s residents. This project will show that we can create affordable, livable, and sustainable housing and do so in a way that continues to deliver savings and public health benefits for years to come. We are excited to work with DC Green Bank to show that we have all of the tools necessary to transform the District into a place that meets residents’ needs.”

 

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  • February 25, 2022
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
  • Zoom
  • Register Here
    Participants must register to attend

    Please join the Coalition for Green Capital for a virtual meeting on Friday, February 25th at 11am EST to hear from federal, state, and industry leaders about surging green bank investments and the latest green bank developments from across the country.

    We will be joined by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), our committed federal green bank champions, who will provide insight and the latest news on congressional climate action.

    The discussion will also include:

    – A first look at record green bank investment numbers from 2021;
    – A report on all new state green bank formation, funding and creation efforts from across the country; and
    – A deep dive on recent efforts to expand green bank commitments to climate and energy justice.

    We’ll also be joined by Cathie Mahon, president & CEO of Inclusiv, for a Q&A session on the important role CDFIs, credit unions and MDIs can play in an equitable clean energy transition, and exciting new collaboration efforts between community-focused lenders and green banks.

    Other confirmed speakers include:

    – William Barber III, Chief Consultant-Environmental Justice and Equity, Coalition for Green Capital
    – Jean Nelson-Houpert, Chief Financial Officer, DC Green Bank
    – Hannah Vargason, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, Partner Community Capital
    – Gwen Yamamoto Lau, Executive Director, Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority

  • February 9, 2022
  • 7:00 - 9:00 PM
  • Virtual
  • Register Here

    Our Equal Access Advocate, Shyrah Kum, will join the Ward 8 Community Economic Development (W8CED) for a conversation about building toward a sustainable environment and a clean energy future.

     

  • February 16, 2022
  • 12:00 pm
  • Virtual
  • Registration Closed
    All participants must register to attend.

    DC Green Finance Authority (“DC Green Bank”) will conduct a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors, pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, (DC Official Code §2-574(1)).

    Pre-registration is required.

     

    Meeting Agenda

    Regular Meeting of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors

    February 16 2022

    DC Green Bank and Together Solar today announced the closing of a nearly $2 million comprehensive debt facility to bolster the company’s existing solar portfolio and support an expansion of solar deployment across the District. The loan facility will provide permanent financing for one of the region’s largest portfolios of existing solar installations, with a focus on the provision of solar to non-profits and faith-based institutions in the city. In addition, the deal also includes a revolving credit facility to develop and deploy additional solar installations for Together Solar’s community service focused prospective customers. The revolving loan facility aims to encourage and finance solar in the District, part of DC Green Bank’s push to contribute to achieving the city’s climate and clean energy goals.

    Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the deal, “We are proud to work with Together Solar to make access to solar energy a priority in the District. We cannot achieve our climate and equity goals if we do not focus on our community-serving institutions – like houses of worship and health centers – and this partnership will deliver results for these critical pillars of the community.”

    DC Green Bank’s mission is to provide access to capital, growing the clean economy to develop a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable DC. By pursuing this mission in line with its core values – Sustainability, Clean Economy, and Inclusive Prosperity – the bank can ensure that no community is left behind. Ed Hubbard, a member of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors, said of this work, “A sustainable future requires that we partner with and invest in institutions that are already leaders in their communities. Our Board is committed to continuing to pursue an investment strategy that puts communities first.”

    Together Solar’s existing portfolio of solar projects generates clean energy in the community, benefitting the systems’ hosts while helping to reduce carbon emissions and other particulate pollution in the District, having already resulted in a decrease of more than 3,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. The revolving loan facility will incentivize the expansion of this clean energy and emissions reduction footprint. Hugh Scott, Co-Founder of Together Solar, said of the partnership, “We are excited to work with DC Green Bank and their innovative team. The bank fills a critical need in the solar landscape and is a leader on the path to a clean energy future. Together Solar’s work and unique approach prioritizes renewable energy, elevates community institutions, and will strengthen neighborhoods for years to come.”

    February-2022-Together-Solar_DCGB-Press-Release
  • February 7, 2022
  • 4:00 pm
  • Virtual
  • Registration Closed
    Pre-registration is required

    DC Green Finance Authority (“DC Green Bank”) will conduct a special meeting of the Board of Directors, pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, (DC Official Code §2-574(1)).

    Pre-registration is required.

    Special Meeting of the DCGB Board of Directors

    February 7, 2022

    DC Green Bank and City First Enterprises today announced the closing of a $2.8 million investment partnership for small businesses in the District and to bolster the bank’s Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) Financing program. Small businesses can now apply for up to $150,000 in loans with interest rates as low as 3% through the new fund, and multifamily, commercial, or industrial property owners and commercial tenants can access up to $250,000 through CLEER to upgrade to clean energy systems, increase stormwater resilience, and improve energy efficiency. DC Green Bank will deliver an initial $100,000 loan-loss reserve to provide credit enhancement for the first $2 million of investment through the CLEER program. This partnership is a major step forward for DC Green Bank and City First Enterprises as they work toward existing goals to limit DC’s carbon emissions, support local businesses, and grow the clean economy in the District.

    The two partners are committed to creating pathways for small businesses to improve their environmental footprint while increasing much needed cashflow in the near-term. Whether a business owns or leases a building, it will be eligible to apply for loan amounts ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 for clean energy, efficiency, and resilience investments. The small business fund will consist of an initial $330,000 from City First Enterprises and up to $495,000 from DC Green Bank. Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the partnership, “Small businesses create quality, local jobs and make DC a great place to live and work. We are honored to work with a leading financial institution like City First Enterprises to support small businesses as they invest in a sustainable DC for all.”

    In addition to existing retrofit rebates and energy audit services accessible through the District government, these loan windows provide a boost to small businesses and property owners building for the future in an uncertain environment. Todd Monash, a member of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors said of the partnership, “Opportunities through this new collaboration provide sensible ways for entrepreneurs and building owners to significantly reduce energy costs in ways that help to mitigate risks due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Small businesses thrive when they can increase predictable cash flows and make sound investments.”

    City First Enterprises will make loans within this partnership as part of their new One Climate Fund, a program dedicated to accelerating investments in a clean energy future. Oswaldo Acosta, CEO of City First Enterprises, said of the new partnership, “We are excited to be taking this significant step forward in our collaboration with DC Green Bank. An equitable, sustainable recovery for the District is a goal that our organizations share, and this partnership advances our vision by lowering the barriers for entrepreneurs seeking to decrease their environmental footprint and positively impact their bottom line.”

    DCGB_CFE-Partnership-Press-Release-January-2022-1

    By Oscar Perry Abello, Next City

    But the D.C. Green Bank is determined as part of its mission to bring private lenders into the space. The first permanent loan for Flywheel came from Amalgamated Bank — a union-controlled bank that has some expertise in solar power lending after a 2018 merger with New Resource Bank, which was the first bank to specialize in environmental sustainability lending. D.C. Green Bank also provided a loan guarantee to help facilitate the longer-term loan from Amalgamated.

    Earlier this month, the D.C. Green Bank partnered with Virginia Community Capital on another long-term loan for Flywheel, bringing another lender into the community solar space in D.C.

    D.C. Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson says they’re already in talks with Amalgamated Bank, Virginia Community Capital and other lenders across the city, including the Black-owned Industrial Bank, to finance additional community solar installations as well as stormwater retention projects — which are also part of D.C. Green Bank’s mandate and connected to D.C.’s burgeoning market for stormwater retention credits. Similar to these first two projects with Flywheel, the green bank would finance construction and the other lenders would refinance with a longer-term loan later, freeing up the green bank to finance construction somewhere else. It’s similar to how the New York Green Bank has done most of its deals.

    And each loan helps feed into the next — as more lenders show interest in longer-term loans, more feel comfortable making construction loans knowing they can be refinanced later. Eventually the D.C. Green Bank won’t be needed for these types of loans. It could shift focus to deals that other lenders still see as too risky, or even put itself out of business.

    D.C. Green Bank Board Chair Brandi Colander says ultimately the scale of the renewable energy challenge requires much more federal funding, like that in the Build Back Better legislation currently stalled in Congress.

    But in the meantime, she says, the D.C. Green Bank and others like it around the country can help prime the pipeline of developers and workers and lenders to be prepared to scale up when or if that funding ever comes — and make sure at least some of those developers are local and focused on the communities who are usually left behind or bulldozed out by large-scale public investments.

    “We think the magic of a green bank is you’re leveraging public and private dollars, restructuring financing tools to meet communities and developers where they are,” Colander says. “But you’re shaking up conventional structures to do that.”

    Read the Full Article Here

    DC Green Bank, Virginia Community Capital, and Flywheel Development today announced the closing of a $1.8 million permanent loan facility for a newly completed community solar project in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C. Given DC Green Bank’s status as an independent instrumentality of the District government and VCC’s status as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), both lenders were able to include innovative provisions within the loan agreement to bring down the cost of capital for the project as well as realize a reasonable rate of return on the investment, ensuring that the incoming loan payments are recycled to support additional sustainable community investments. The long-term facility will support the recently completed community solar installation in the Fairfax Village community in Southeast D.C., which is slated to deliver as much as $2.3 million in electricity savings over the next 15 years – cutting energy bills in half for more than 200 low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents across the District – and reduce nearly 1,000 tons of CO2-equivalent annually.

    The permanent loan facility follows the full repayment by Flywheel of the $1.7 million construction loan deployed by DC Green Bank in May 2021 to support the community solar installation as part of the District’s Solar for All program.

    Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the investment, “DC Green Bank proudly supports Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) like Flywheel Development as they push forward on deploying community solar across the District, and partners with community lenders like VCC to transform our energy infrastructure, improve our environment, save residents money, and do so in a way that generates a reasonable financial return.”

    DC Green Bank has a unique mandate to accelerate a transition for the District to a clean and inclusive economy for all residents. Brandi Colander, Chair of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors added, “Investments like this are a core part of our long-term strategic vision. It is critical that we invest public dollars in a way that benefits residents and local businesses, creates jobs, and scales sustainability. These strategic partnerships get us closer to achieving the District’s renewable energy and climate goals.”

    11021-VCC-Flywheel-DCGB-Permanent-Loan-Press-Release

    By Rebecca Tan, Washington Post

    The American Green Bank Consortium has seen its membership double from 11 to 22 in the past three years. Most members are backed by state governments, which have bigger wallets to spend on seed funding.

    Montgomery County was among the first local jurisdictions in the country to set up its own green bank, in 2015, and now there are similar organizations in D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The DC Green Bank, which started signing projects in 2020, has provided nearly $1.8 million in loans for low-to-moderate-income households in Wards 4, 6 and 7 to transition to solar power and is in conversation with the city’s historically Black churches to discuss collaboration. The Climate Access Fund, based in Baltimore, works almost exclusively to bring community solar, in which multiple people share the energy produced by an off-site solar farm, to low-income households.

    Read the Full Article Here

  • December 17, 2021
  • 9:00 am
  • Zoom
  • Registration Closed
    The hearing is also available on TV, Channel 13 or 18

    On Friday, December 17, 2021, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, Chairperson of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Councilmember Charles Allen, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, and Kenyan McDuffie, Chairperson of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, will hold a joint public hearing on Climate Resilience Planning in the District and B24-410, the Flood Resilience Amendment Act of 2021. The hearing will begin at 9:00 AM and be broadcast live on DC Council Channel 13 and streamed live at www.dccouncil.us, facebook.com/cmmarycheh, and entertainment.dc.gov.

    The purpose of this hearing is to learn more about efforts underway to prepare the District for and, where possible, mitigate the effects of climate change, including plans for future climate resiliency initiatives, and to solicit testimony from climate and resiliency experts on how the District might expand or enhance its current resilience plans. At the hearing, the Committees will hear testimony from several of the agencies responsible for the District’s resilience planning, including the Department of Energy and Environment, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and the Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency. The Committees will also hear testimony on B24-410, the Flood Resilience Amendment Act of 2021, which would authorize DOEE to designate certain areas as flood hazard locations and, consequently, require flood insurance as a condition of occupancy for new or substantially improved buildings in those locations.

     

     

    Learn More Here

  • December 15, 2021
  • 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Registration Closed
    Participants must register

    The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), in partnership with the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and the DC Green Bank, is offering enhanced technical and financial assistance to owners and managers of qualifying affordable multifamily buildings that do not meet the District’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS). The District’s Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator program will help you:

    • Understand the BEPS and how they apply to your building(s)
    • Uncover energy-saving opportunities in your building(s)
    • Identify resources, including financial incentives and financing opportunities, to help you make upgrades that will reduce energy use
    • Choose a Compliance Pathway and get support towards compliance with the BEPS requirements as determined by DOEE
    • Cut your energy costs, run your building more efficiently, and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions

    DOEE, DC Green Bank, and DCSEU held a webinar to introduce partners to BEPS, the Accelerator, and the support in development for building owners and operators, building managers, and others that need support to pursue BEPS compliance in the affordable housing space.

    Webinar - Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator

    December 15 2021