Sustainability: Colorado Housing and Finance Authority

An innocuous office at 348 Main St. in Grand Junction is coordinating some major opportunities on the sustainability front.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is administering three programs that are leading the way for Colorado’s new energy economy.

The housing and finance authority is partnering with the Governor’s Energy Office for the Green Colorado Credit Reserve. Funding is provided by the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

If your office or manufacturing facility is planning an energy efficiency retrofit, this may be just the ticket to bring those plans to fruition.

This capital access program for loans up to $100,000 will have $1 million available.

Right now, the housing authority is finalizing program documentation with the energy office with an eye toward a rollout within 30 days.

The credit reserve will provide easier access to credit in today’s tight market by providing a loan loss reserve of 15 percent.

After the housing authority markets the program to financial institutions, partner lenders will be determined. Unspent reserves are recycled back into the program.

The credit reserve program will last about 18 months and is anticipated to serve small- and medium-sized companies.

Another American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project offered by the housing authority and energy office is the Revolving Loan Program. A total of $12 million was available for businesses needing loans larger than $1 million.

This program has been operational for several months, and companies on the Western Slope have yet to take advantage. One loan has already been closed for a company supplying parts to a wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas.

Loans can be secured for large-scale retrofits of buildings, improvements for companies whose products directly impact the renewable energy sector and other unique opportunities promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Scott Aker, manager of the local housing authority office, looks forward to a well-coordinated effort with local organizations. Working through established programs, such as the Chamber of Commerce GreenBack$ program and the Mesa County Business Loan Fund associated with the Business Incubator, will help create lots of local interest. Aker thinks this synergy will not only promote energy savings, but will lead to job creation.

Another ongoing housing authority program also has a strong sustainability component. The housing authority’s multi-family development plan requires developers to follow Enterprise Green Community standards to qualify for affordable housing tax credits. The standards provide a “national framework for healthy, efficient, environmentally smart affordable homes,” according to the website.

The Enterprise Green Community requirement demonstrates the housing authority’s initiative in this area. Global Green USA, an organization committed to promoting green building practices in the affordable housing community, has even rated the housing authority’s program fifth in the nation.

“Fostering a global value shift towards a sustainable and secure future,” is the mission of Global Green.

For information about any housing authority program, go to or call Aker at 241-2341. This may be an opportunity for your company to go green in a big way.

Adele Israel is a Grand Junction writer who has been involved in sustainability efforts for some 20 years. Have a question or column idea for Adele? E-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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