Learning More About the Fund: TBL Fund’s Recent Work in Underserved Communities
Triple Bottom Line Foundation (TBL Fund) has been growing its resources and staff in an effort to increase its social, economic, and environmental impacts in multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) and Indigenous communities. It has also been working to take advantage of the new resources and opportunities provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). For example, TBL Fund is preparing to create and lead a coalition of CDFIs and help coalition members access and utilize capital available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). The goal is to develop a GGRF funding pool, and a central component of this effort will be the creation of a Revolving Loan Fund to make extremely inexpensive capital available to CDFIs and Credit Unions for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades across the country. This funding pool will also enable TBL Fund to provide training and other technical assistance to coalition members to help them ramp up their green financing programs.
Existing MFAH properties are often older and energy inefficient. Indigenous communities are seeking solutions to lower energy costs. Low-to-moderate income (LMI) households often contend with health hazards such as poor indoor air quality (e.g., caused by gas appliances giving off carbon monoxide) and high energy burdens that can make it very difficult for them to access healthcare services. These conditions undermine residents’ ability to withstand the dangerous impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events and increased air pollution. Green solutions, including high-efficiency heat pumps, weatherization upgrades, solar, and health and safety measures, are vital to reducing energy burdens; increasing the health, comfort, safety, and affordability of LMI families’ homes; and curbing emissions from buildings. To facilitate such solutions, TBL Fund offers a range of financing options including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs), Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and off-balance-sheet financing.
Two examples of these products in action were retrofits for Santa Fe County Housing Authority and Truth or Consequences Housing Authority in New Mexico, which TBL Fund financed. It issued loans of approx. $1 million and $690,500, respectively—both structured through innovative U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development EPCs. The retrofits incorporated energy efficiency and water conservation measures, and each housing authority received over 215 kW of solar for their properties. The projects served almost 300 households, created 37 sustainable jobs, and achieved lifetime impacts of over $6.4M in utility bill savings and over 42M lbs. of carbon emissions reductions. TBL Fund is also financing MFAH projects at Hacienda Cooperative and Robert Walls Senior Citizens Center in Washington, D.C. These projects are contracted but not yet complete. Hacienda is a front-of-the-meter solar project that will receive 109 kW of solar and Robert Walls is a behind-the-meter project that will receive 30 kW (ICAST—TBL Fund’s sponsor and affiliate—is only offsetting the owner-paid meter at that site). TBL Fund is providing the debt and equity financing; both projects are being financed with PPAs. ICAST hopes to use low- and moderate-income incentives provided by the IRA, and is still waiting on the feasibility of accessing these new opportunities this year.
To learn more about TBL Fund’s recent work, read its 2022 Annual Report.