HUD: Agency Climate Action Plan Released

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its Climate Action Plan, which details a comprehensive strategy to reduce the agency’s energy and carbon footprint and put our nation’s communities on the path to building more equitable, efficient, and sustainable housing infrastructure. On Thursday, Secretary Marcia L. Fudge joined world and business leaders virtually for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom to announce HUD’s plan and affirm the Administration’s commitment to delivering climate justice by increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities, investing in green and resilient buildings, and creating good-paying jobs in new industries.

“We are in the midst of a global climate crisis and we have limited time to respond. HUD’s Climate Action Plan will meet the urgency of this moment,” said Secretary Fudge. “The U.S. is leading the fight against climate change, and in Glasgow, we will set the example at home and around the world that HUD and the entire Biden-Harris Administration is committed to delivering climate justice in our communities.”

The Climate Action Plan was developed in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. In keeping with the executive order, as well as the President’s Justice40 Initiative to advance environmental justice and racial equity, HUD will implement a broad approach to the climate crisis that reduces climate pollution; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; protects public health; delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and economic growth.

In order to implement and track the actions detailed in the Climate Action Plan, HUD has established the Climate and Environmental Justice Council comprised of Assistant Secretaries from across the agency. The Council will enable an all-hands-on-deck at HUD to deliver climate and environmental justice throughout the Department’s work. Highlights from the Climate Action Plan include:

Cities and localities are on the front lines of the climate emergency, and low-income residents and people of color often bear more of the impact when climate-related disasters strike HUD, in partnership with local leaders, is announcing a suite of resources, support, and tools to help cities respond equitably the climate crisis. This includes a climate resilience toolkit, implementation models, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, stakeholder engagement with underserved communities, and direct support to a cohort of climate cities.

1.      HUD Climate Communities Initiative:

Cities and localities are on the front lines of the climate emergency, and low-income residents and people of color often bear more of the impact when climate-related disasters strike HUD, in partnership with local leaders, is announcing a suite of resources, support, and tools to help cities respond equitably the climate crisis. This includes a climate resilience toolkit, implementation models, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, stakeholder engagement with underserved communities, and direct support to a cohort of climate cities.

2.      Green Building and Electrification:

In order to assist low-income households and communities of color, which are too often left out when it comes to advancing technology and green building, HUD will align building and substantial rehabilitation incentives and requirements, with energy efficiency and equitable decarbonization goals, including the requirement of new construction with new funds to achieve green building standards. HUD will also finalize rulemaking requiring strengthened minimum energy standards as required by statute. This will ensure that HUD-assisted households are not left behind as we shift to a low-carbon future.

In addition, HUD is announcing a partnership with the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge. The Better CLIMATE Challenge is an extension of the Better Buildings Challenge. Three HUD partners (King County Housing Authority, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Community Housing Partners) have joined this climate challenge and have pledged to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 50% in 10 years.

3.      Good Green Jobs:

HUD will strengthen partnerships with the Department of Labor, Department of Energy, and unions to ensure robust Green Jobs programs in the communities HUD serves and will devote additional resources related to green workforce development training. In addition, HUD has recently launched the Building Futures pilot at two Public Housing sites. This pilot is designed to identify pathways to meaningful long-term employment in green jobs and construction industries for Public Housing residents.

4.      Healthy Housing:

HUD will revise environmental review policies to ensure consideration of climate- and environmental justice-related hazards and health risks in all proposed site selection and placement of new assistance activities. HUD will also continue to collaborate with Local agencies and nongovernmental organizations to help the impacted community identify available resources and appropriate solutions to eliminate hazards and improve residents’ overall health.

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.