The Climate Threat and Opportunity in Milwaukee

Without diverse and inclusive perspectives, when Municipalities, Appointed Decision Makers / Regulatory Bodies and Elected officials make decisions without hearing from low-income consumers or their advocates, those decisions will almost certainly increase the hardship these households face. We are advancing outcomes, that benefit communities of color through investments in renewable energy and climate resilient infrastructure, workforce and procurement equity initiatives.

The unsubsidized affordable housing sector in Milwaukee dominates the affordable housing market with 67% of the affordable stock considered affordable to residents who are at or below 80% of the area median income, and typically have the resources to pay no more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities.

 

Because lower income residents, renters, seniors, and other vulnerable groups are more likely to live in older buildings, we must prioritize decarbonizing the affordable housing stock in an equitable way that reduces cost burdens on those families that need relief from high utility bills. Capital upgrades are the most difficult to implement for multifamily owners—this gap in funding prevents deeper electrification retrofits, especially in colder Midwestern climates. Turnkey approaches are available with comprehensive guidance and relationship management with affordable housing owners and residents.

 

These activities would braid weatherization funding with philanthropic funding sources, utility energy efficiency programs to increase the adoption of electrification technology, with the opportunity to develop an approach that can be scaled statewide and support an equitable transition to a clean-energy economy.

 

The goals of this project include:

  • Reduce carbon emissions, generate cost savings for households with lower incomes, reduce energy burdens and create a healthier living environment for residents.​

  • Offer a turnkey approach, which includes comprehensive guidance and relationship management with owners of affordable housing throughout a retrofit’s various construction phases and leverage additional funding support. · Complete deep energy retrofits in the City of Milwaukee, in 5+ units multifamily housing where 66% of units meet the WAP income eligibility requirements of below 200% of Federal Poverty Level.

  • ​ Manage the research and evaluation process to determine program impacts of growing community partnerships and leveraging additional funds to maximize the benefits of the renewable and new technologies.

  • ​ Create opportunities for Workforce Training programs and MWBE contractors to enter the home performance, energy efficiency and renewable industries.