USGBC supports HUD green building financing
Continued market transformation toward a truly sustainably built environment requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Beyond innovative building design and materials, elevated resource efficiency standards and comprehensive construction methods, financial institutions play a critical role in fostering development and demand for green building.
USGBC supports the changes to mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) recently proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for several Federal Housing Administration (FHA) multifamily mortgage insurance programs.
Specifically, LEED-certified projects with qualifying multifamily FHA-insured loans, including refinancing, that are originated on April 1, 2016 or later, will benefit from reduced upfront and annual MIP rates. For new or renovated LEED-certified multifamily properties, annual MIP rates will drop from between 45 and 70 basis points to 25. This reduction sends a positive market signal to invest in higher construction, rehabilitation and maintenance and operations standards that are more energy-efficient and sustainable than traditional building practices.
By rewarding LEED, HUD recognizes the value third-party validation has in producing projects with greater energy and water efficiency, reduced operating costs, improved indoor air quality and reduced overall impact on the environment—which align with HUD’s mission to preserve affordable housing. Moreover, these changes recognize LEED’s value in protecting taxpayer and FHA-backed loans by ensuring lendees follow through on green building commitments.
USGBC submitted a public comment letter to HUD, supporting this worthwhile change. We also advocated for express recognition of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance as another tool to support the agency’s mission for multifamily housing.