Multifamily Affordable Housing Decarbonization Toolkit

Much of the nation’s affordable housing stock needs major capital improvements, an issue compounded by pressures from city, state, and federal regulations to promptly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Simultaneously, recent policy developments, such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and greater availability of green financing tools create opportunities to better address affordable housing capital needs. However, taking advantage of these opportunities requires ongoing collaboration and coordination across a community of stakeholders.

In response to these national opportunities and challenges, RMI and Wells Fargo Foundation are hosting a series of four workshops focused on decarbonizing affordable housing across four key markets: Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), New York City (NYC), and Washington, D.C. The decision to host workshops in these markets was driven by the demonstrated initiative of these regions in advancing decarbonization and climate action, housing affordability, and solutions to address energy burden challenges.

To ensure the workshops remain deeply rooted in the local context and prioritize the effects of housing and climate policies on historically marginalized and underserved communities, we forged partnerships with local environmental justice experts and housing advocates. Together, these collaborators formed steering committees for each regional workshop series to contribute to the agenda design and ensure each workshop is tailored to the region’s specific needs.

As of February 2024, workshops have been completed in NYC and MSP. Workshops in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., are planned to wrap up by June 2024. The series of workshops serves as a crucial platform for identifying patterns and similarities across markets to address the most pressing barriers to decarbonizing the affordable housing stock. The primary objectives of the workshops include the following:

  • Identify policy and regulatory solutions to address barriers to decarbonizing affordable housing in the target markets
  • Understand tenant protection policies and programs necessary to avoid displacement during home retrofits/upgrades
  • Identify strengths and gaps in funding capital improvements including decarbonization while preserving the affordable housing stock
  • Compile action items and identify resources and roles needed to achieve proposed solutions

The workshops not only spotlight current challenges faced across various markets, but more importantly underscore the collective determination to forge a more prosperous and sustainable future across the US affordable housing stock through the identified solutions.


The NYC and MSP events gathered approximately 60 affordable housing experts, representing a range of backgrounds and expertise, to inform workshop plenary and small group discussions. Attendees at each event included environmental justice advocates, tenant rights and housing justice experts, seasoned professionals from various government agencies, local developers, building owners, technical experts, and financial experts from banks and intermediaries interested in supporting solutions to advance decarbonization strategies. Collectively, this diverse and dedicated group of stakeholders came together with the common goals of fostering collaboration, sharing insights, and exploring innovative solutions to current industry challenges faced across the affordable housing market.


Thank you to the Wells Fargo Foundation whose generous philanthropic support and engagement enabled RMI to facilitate these regional workshops. We also want to extend our appreciation to subject matter experts who served on these events' steering committees and workshop participants who were integral to shaping workshop objectives and outcomes.


Ellie White,

Ella Muré,

Srinidhi Sampath-Kumar,

Lucas Toffoli,


Statements, opinions, and related materials on this webpage are suggestions offered by workshop participants and do not represent the opinions of Wells Fargo Foundation or RMI. This document is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to recommend any particular investment or inform investment decisions.

Copyrights and Citation

RMI values collaboration and aims to accelerate the energy transition through sharing knowledge and insights. We therefore allow interested parties to reference, share, and cite our work through the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

All images used are from unless otherwise noted.