With the election of their new Mayor in 2021, Boston, MA committed to a radical rethinking of their systems to begin addressing these issues through Boston’s Green New Deal. Under this plan, almost 80% of Boston’s buildings will need to undergo deep energy retrofits and decarbonization in order to meet their carbon neutrality goals by 2050. To meet this goal, the Boston City Council recently approved a $20 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funds to support a nation-leading pilot program to reduce emissions through energy retrofits in both deed-restricted and naturally-occurring affordable housing.
The new project explores avenues for smaller residential buildings to reach carbon-neutral standards and will work to retrofit three-deckers and other multi-family homes for energy efficiency, focusing on affordable housing in neighborhoods with historic disinvestment where residents disproportionately experience the effects of climate change. Boston will partner with FUSE to help implement the new affordable housing retrofit program through varied approaches. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: explore flexible options to bring deep energy retrofits to existing housing stock; oversee operationalizing the program plan; and act as a liaison between the City, building owners, and contractors. Ultimately, this will help support the city’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions, increasing equitable availability of affordable housing, and improving the health and quality of life for its residents.