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Success Story

Affordable housing community saves with solar

Jackson County

How can affordable multifamily housing construction projects keep costs in check and still include solar? The Housing Authority of Jackson County discovered a way to make it happen.

How can affordable multifamily housing construction projects keep costs in check and still include solar? The Housing Authority of Jackson County discovered a way to make it happen.

After HAJC successfully installed a small solar array at a property in 2019, officials were enthusiastic about including something bigger at their new development, the Freedom Square II multifamily complex in White City. But cost can be a deciding factor, especially when it comes to affordable housing construction budgets.

Freedom Square II, which opened in 2022, qualified for an increased incentive through Energy Trust’s equitable solar initiative that makes it easier and more affordable for eligible nonprofits, tribes and affordable multifamily housing properties to go solar. The $59,000 incentive payment covered more than a third of the project cost.

“We added solar power as a way to save on energy costs, and also because it is the right thing to do for the people in our community,” said Ryan Hayes, HAJC director of development.

The seven buildings include 50 affordable units for the area’s underserved residents—those whose income is 60% or lower than the area’s median income—including 12 units reserved for veterans.

Solar energy reduces the property’s electric bill—money the housing authority can use to serve the community in other beneficial ways.

“Any savings we’re able to realize in utility expenditures at our properties creates opportunities for us to redirect those funds for other purposes, including resident services, new project development or site acquisition,” said Haynes.

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