Loan Fund Launched For Nonprofits’ Green Building Upgrades

Ruben Onsu

DC Green Bank, a Washington, D.C.-based program that promotes sustainable infrastructure, has launched a loan program that supports energy-saving work within the District. The new program, Navigator, provides pre-development loans for community-based nonprofit organization buildings, commercial buildings, and multifamily or mixed-use properties with five or more residential units. The loans […]

DC Green Bank, a Washington, D.C.-based program that promotes sustainable infrastructure, has launched a loan program that supports energy-saving work within the District.

The new program, Navigator, provides pre-development loans for community-based nonprofit organization buildings, commercial buildings, and multifamily or mixed-use properties with five or more residential units. The loans cover sustainable energy-saving projects such as bidding work, design, energy audits and benchmarking, engineering environmental-based planning meetings and other design costs.

“Through our engagement with District residents, contractors, developers, property owners, engineers and beyond, we have identified pre-development loans as a crucial missing piece in the city’s clean energy puzzle,” DC Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson said via a statement.

Navigator loans are available for $10,000 to $250,000, although higher amounts might be considered based on project complexity, as determined on a case-by-case basis. The loans are geared in part toward affordable housing development. Property owners are required to cover 25% of the project costs. DC Green Bank provides financing for 75%, which is given in one balloon payment at project financing.

The loans are a stepping stone for building owners seeking to decrease their environmental footprint, save money and meet the District’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS). Under the BEPS, the District is aiming to reduce emissions by 50% by 2032, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

At launch, interest rates for multifamily and nonprofit properties are 1.99%, and market-rate properties and commercial real estate developments at 3.99%. Loans are repayable within 24 months, with payment due at the end of the period or upon the project receiving funding. There are no penalties for early repayment.

Applications for the loans are available here: https://dcgreenbank.com/product/navigator/ Applications must include a project budget that details the property manager’s 25% contribution to the project, the names and qualifications of the professional service providers to be retained, and a variety of financial and tax forms.

Navigator was designed in conjunction with Rocky Hill, Conn.-based Inclusive Prosperity Capital, a nonprofit investment fund that specializes in clean energy, energy efficiency and resiliency projects and programs.

“The Navigator loan allows building owners to access financing for early-stage audits, benchmarking, and design for clean energy projects, which can often be a challenge,” Inclusive Prosperity Capital CEO Kerry O’Neill said via a statement.

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