On Tuesday, November 29th, Governor Cuomo announced that he has worked to secure New York State with an international certification in “Green Bonds”, totaling around $100 million. The purpose of these bonds is to advance the development of housing, emphasizing those with a positive impact on the environment and climate. This is big news for New York State, being the first in the nation to have affordable housing bonds be certified by The Climate Bonds Standards Board.The bonds will be issued under the Climate Bonds Initiative, which bills itself as the world’s only organization that works towards mobilizing the $100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions.
“Green Bonds are an innovative tool to build cleaner, greener, affordable housing and place New York at the forefront of sustainable development,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York leads the nation in pioneering solutions to 21st century challenges, and these Green Bonds will provide hundreds of new housing units to New Yorkers in need, while reducing carbon emissions, mitigating the impact of climate change and creating a more sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”
The New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Finance Agency will take ownership of the bonds, using them to launch a Green Bond Program to create $200 million of economic activity in local economies, consisting of four developments, totaling over 640 green and affordable units for residents in Kings, Westchester, Monroe, and Orange County.
This international certification will only help to continue building New York’s reputation in setting strict environmental standards, thus reducing carbon emissions. Prior to the Green Bonds for affordable housing, New York had been issued $500 million in bonds for the MTA to continue making necessary upgrades, projects, and greenhouse gas reductions a reality.
This year, Governor Cuomo announced the Clean Energy Standard – a mandate that 50% of NYS electricity will come from renewable resources by 2030. This ambitious goal will be met by cutting down carbon emissions, growing the clean energy economy, and going forward, protecting the environment. Starting in 2017, all new multi-family construction projects will have to follow green standards under Homes and Community Renewal, pushing towards the 50 by 30 electricity goals.
New York is a model for other states, being the top issuer of housing bonds in the country, and now making them even more marketable to Green Bond investors. Through a partnership between Homes & Community Renewal, and Enterprise Community Partners, New York will lead the nation in developing affordable housing. Under Enterprise’s guidance, new construction will utilize their Green Communities standard to achieve Climate Bonds Initiative certification.
New York State is the top issuer of housing bonds in the country and serves as a model for other states. Housing bonds will now be even more marketable to the Green Bond community. An estimated $45 trillion in assets is currently under management by investors that have made public commitments to climate and responsible investment.
As part of this initiative, Homes and Community Renewal is partnering with Enterprise Community Partners, a national leader in the development of affordable housing in New York and throughout the United States. Enterprise has developed criteria to certify ‘Green Communities,’ including design, location/neighborhood, environmental and other site improvements, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials, healthy living, building operations and resident engagement. Homes and Community Renewal is working with Enterprise to qualify their Green Communities standard as a proxy to achieve Climate Bonds Initiative certification.
Climate Bonds will help to meet the goals of 50 by 30 for electricity, contributing to larger commitments made throughout New York City and New York State. Governor Cuomo has taken the lead towards building sustainable, and environmentally-conscious behaviors into each industry.