Utility Costs and Federally Subsidized Housing: Regulations and the Incentives They Create

Residential buildings account for 22 percent of total energy consumed in the United States, and are responsible for 17 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. But despite the many incentives and regulations designed to reduce energy consumption, little attention is given to the legal and regulatory frameworks that influence the energy use of households in federally subsidized housing.

Reducing energy use in the  subsidized rental housing stock—which comprises nearly four percent of all housing units in the U.S—is crucial to the nation’s energy and environmental goals. Given the constrained government budgets for housing, energy savings could also help to expand the availability of affordable housing through federal programs.

In this webinar, Vincent Reina, Research Affiliate with the NYU Furman Center, will present findings from a recent analysis of the regulations governing utility costs in subsidized housing. The presentation will identify utility consumption incentives in the four largest federal rental subsidy programs- Public Housing, Project-based Section 8, Housing Choice Vouchers, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit- and existing levers to modify these incentives.

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