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FACT SHEET: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Update on Climate Action Plan


Two years ago, at COP 26, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the release of its Climate Action Plan.

The Climate Action Plan was developed in response to President Biden's Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and is 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. It sets forth 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. HUD’s Climate Action Plan details the agency’s first steps as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis.

Two years into implementation of HUD’s Climate Action Plan, under the Biden-Harris Administration, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge has taken bold action, eliminating barriers, increasing collaboration, and working to ensure federal investments will benefit all people and communities, especially historically disadvantaged communities, and those most at risk to the threats posed by climate change and extreme weather.

HUD has made significant progress towards its climate mitigation and resilience, energy efficiency, and environmental justice goals through the following measures:

  • Advanced increased energy efficiency in HUD-supported housing through updated notices, incentives, and technical assistance for housing authorities to invest in energy and water efficiency, including solar – providing cost savings, cleaner air, and greenhouse gas mitigation.
  • Increased use of HUD climate tools and participation from HUD grantee communities and public housing authorities in programs, advancing climate resilience and energy efficiency education and awareness.
    • Created a curated library of resources and tools on efficient building, renewable energy integration, climate resiliency and environmental justice.
    • Updated HUD’s Public Housing Energy Branch website to improve and increase access to critical information and resources on energy and water efficiency incentive programs for public housing authorities.
  • Developed and provided targeted technical assistance, tools, and resources to support communities and property owners seeking to build resilience to climate change and climate-related natural hazards.
    • Launched the Climate Communities Initiative (CCI), a partnership with forty-four communities across the country to build their capacity to survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of climate hazards and acute climate events.
    • Supporting local climate action through HUD’s Community Resilience Toolkit and accompanying implementation guides providing step-by-step instructions on how to implement specific resilience programs such as resilience education and outreach activities, cool roofs, nature-based solutions, single-family retrofits, resilient public facilities, and community-driven relocation.
  • Awarded grants in several programs that incentivize or require green and resilient building approaches and building decarbonization in HUD-supported housing, making this housing safer and cleaner.
    • Required more stringent energy standards and green and resilient building approaches for baseline new construction and substantial rehabilitation in the FY22 Notice of Funding Opportunity for HUD’s Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program (Section 202) and bonus points for higher “greening” or climate resiliency standards. The $160.1 million in Section 202 grants awarded went to 25 properties that all received bonus points going beyond the required efficiency and climate resilience standards.
    • Required that housing transformed with the assistance of Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants be energy efficient, climate resistant, and sustainable, having low per unit energy and water consumption and is built to be resistant to local disaster risk.
  • Drove increased awareness of the deep connections among HUD’s mission, climate resilience, decarbonization, and environmental justice through targeted training for HUD staff on climate and environmental justice issues.
    • HUD’s Office of Public Housing, Energy Branch received the Smart Energy Decisions' (SED) 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award for their work implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices in energy and sustainability efforts at their organization and an international award for the Institutional Energy Management from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) during the 2023 AEE World Energy Conference and Expo for organizations that have achieved national and international prominence in promoting the practices and principles of energy engineering and energy management.

HUD has also advanced a host of White House and interagency climate and environmental justice-related initiatives to advance a cleaner, more resilient nation, including specific targeted efforts in both transportation decarbonization and accelerating adoption of nature-based solutions to advance climate progress, resilient communities, equity, and prosperity.

Through interagency partnership, HUD has:

  • Partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization to cut all greenhouse emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. The Blueprint is the first milestone deliverable of the historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the agencies in September of last year.
  • Issued and awarded $5 million through the HUD Thriving Communities Technical Assistance program to help local governments ensure housing needs are considered as part of their larger infrastructure investment plans, while also supporting equitable development and economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities. HUD also participates in the broader Thriving Communities Network, a federal interagency effort led by DOT and EPA to coordinate place-based technical assistance and capacity-building resources for urban, rural, and Tribal communities experiencing a history of economic distress and systemic disinvestment.
Through implementation of its Climate Action Plan since October 2021, HUD has made significant progress in benchmarking, increasing energy efficiency, and increasing the resilience of HUD households. Approximately 463,000 HUD-assisted units successfully benchmarked; almost 100,000 HUD-assisted or HUD-associated (e.g., FHA-insured) housing units have been made energy efficient or aligned to green building standards through retrofits, rehabilitations, or new construction; and over 25,000 homes affected by recent disaster events rehabilitated, reconstructed, newly constructed or elevated using HUD funds.