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Wisconsin Attorney General's Office Recognizes C-PACE for HUD Affordable Housing Projects
Madison, WI (December 3, 2021) In a letter issued to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Wisconsin Attorney General’s (AG’s) office provided guidance to HUD on recognizing C-PACE financings on multifamily housing projects in Wisconsin.
The official letter noted, “Wisconsin’s commercial PACE program is the functional equivalent of a special assessment and is treated similarly to real estate taxes in the ways summarized above. HUD may review additional factors when considering an applicant’s request to participate in PACE.”
HUD guidelines require a legal opinion from each state’s Attorney General as part of the program assessment procedures. Because of the small variations among states’ PACE enabling legislation, each state’s Attorney General must craft a unique letter. Wisconsin joins a handful of C-PACE-enabled states that have provided a letter for HUD. California, Texas, and New York also worked collaboratively to obtain letters from their Attorneys General and have successfully closed HUD Affordable Housing C-PACE projects.
The Wisconsin AG’s office support of HUD-insured properties in Wisconsin to access C-PACE, a utilization that will reduce operating costs and energy burdens for tenants. Being able to approve affordable housing projects within the PACE Wisconsin (37 participating counties) and Milwaukee PACE Program widens the breadth of projects that can access C-PACE.
Tim Mathison, General Counsel and Managing Director PACE Programs shared, “PACE financing for affordable housing will impact an entire sector of previously ineligible projects that now have access to a new stream of long-term financing. By investing in energy and water efficiency, property owners not only increase their bottom-line profitability, but also help low-income communities save money on utility bills.”
Commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) is already being used extensively by other market segments in Wisconsin. To date, over $90 million in C-PACE financing has been invested. C-PACE financing is an economic development tool that utilizes private capital to fund clean energy improvements. These improvements help boost property values, promote economic development, and generate enduring clean energy benefits for our Wisconsin communities.
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