Washington DC Announces First in the Nation "Tax Exempt PACE" Green Financing

StartFragmentWASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- A leading provider of supportive services to families in Washington DC is building a new state-of-the-art headquarters with help from the District of Columbia's Department of Energy and Environment's (DOEE) DC Property Assessed Clean Energy (DC PACE) financing program. The Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc. (FSFSC), an anchor of the community for over 20 years, will use PACE financing at tax-exempt rates to fund green building improvements for their new home in the District's historic Anacostia neighborhood. This marks the fifth DC PACE deal closed under Mayor Bowser's Administration, representing over $5.2 million in clean energy and water investments, with other major PACE deals in the pipeline.EndFragment

"The District of Columbia is a national leader in placing green investment at the heart of economic development and sustainable employment; this project demonstrates how clean energy strengthens the local economy and supports jobs and growth," said Tommy Wells, Director of the District of Columbia's Department of Energy and Environment. "Linking strong social services and workforce development to sound community reinvestment and climate solutions is a triple win, and it lays the foundation needed to meet the District's ambitious climate and energy goals."

This success builds on two other recent innovations launched through DC PACE, the first PACE financing approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for subsidized affordable housing at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA in the District's Shaw neighborhood, and a precedent setting approval from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-for the use of PACE on a property financed through the SBA's 504 loan program in a retail property owned by local real estate developer The Menkiti Group in the District's Brookland neighborhood.

"The FSFSC project demonstrates for the first time ever, how to use low-cost, tax-exempt financing to fund PACE projects and extend the construction budgets of community based organizations," said Bracken Hendricks, CEO of Urban Ingenuity, the program administrator for the DC PACE program. "PACE can drive down energy bills and lower the cost of building improvements for non-profit organizations like FSFSC, so they can put their precious dollars to work where they belong, serving the community and improving the lives of working people in the District."

"Our new headquarters will remove a significant vacancy in the heart of the MLK Avenue corridor and promote economic development in the neighborhood, as it builds our permanent home close to the people we serve," said Perry Moon, Executive Director of FSFSC. "What's more, the $2.2 million investment through PACE allows us to save money we would have wasted on energy and water bills, and puts those dollars right back into the community, paying for supportive services instead of pollution."

The project includes the renovation of a vacant furniture store on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue into new offices for FSFSC, which is currently located a few blocks from the site. The first floor will become home to the first "Busboys and Poets" restaurant and bookstore east of the Anacostia River. In addition to the local construction jobs created by this green building project, many of which will flow to Ward 8 residents, the Busboys and Poets is expected to create 100 sustained jobs for neighborhood residents.

PACE is providing $2.2 million of the total $14.6 million project costs for the new FSFSC headquarters, with the remainder provided by the District's Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) program, local grants, and an FSFSC capital contribution. By providing a portion of the financing at low tax-exempt rates (below 4% fixed annual interest rates), this innovative use of PACE financing will significantly lower the overall cost of capital for the project. Urban Ingenuity, the DC PACE program administrator, is collaborating with The Solar Foundation through a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot grant focused on using PACE financing to make solar and energy efficiency more accessible to non-profits, affordable housing, and other civic institutions, including innovations in tax-exempt financing.

Article originally posted at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/washington-dc-announces-first-nation-120600717.html


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