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Affordable Housing

Sustainable Community Development

DRA maintains a nationally recognized sustainable development practice with its public agency and developer clients. DRA represents agricultural/industrial users in the installation of very large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, combined heat and power cogeneration, and water conservation systems. Additionally, DRA tracks best practices developments in sustainable development through land use planning, building code and other local government policies and regulations associated with overall development.

DRA is expert in California’s nation-leading activities in climate change legislation, regulation and reduction of greenhouse gases, vehicle miles traveled, smart growth land use practices, utility regulation, energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) incentives, rebates, net metering and feed-in tariff structures. DRA conducted nationwide research funded by the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations to analyze a comprehensive review of federal finance, tax, lending, spending and regulatory practices and policies as they affect smart growth policies and projects.

DRA initiated, assembled and moderated the Sustainability and Affordable Housing pre-conference session of the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) and the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies’ Annual Affordable Housing Conference. The panel included profiling rebate and incentive programs for energy conservation measures, utility cost assistance programs for low income households, California legislation on sustainability and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and local sustainable land use planning practices.

DRA led the Sustainable and Green Redevelopment Institute for CRA. The Institute is designed as a comprehensive approach to the issues of sustainable development, incorporating a “horizontal” agenda associated with land use planning, California statutory requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including AB 32 and SB 375, transportation, energy generation and water conservation issues. Additionally, the agenda covers “vertical” sustainable development issues associated with building construction, sustainability measures, energy conservation and generation measures, operations and maintenance for public, commercial and residential development. Issues of financing and capital planning associated with sustainable development are also addressed.

DRA is expert at applying the principles and practices of sustainable development to real estate transactions for public agency and developer clients. This includes provision for state-of-the-art building energy performance measures, installation of solar photovoltaic panel systems for generation of electrical energy requirements and water conservation measures. DRA has worked with public and private entities on installation of PV systems. DRA has also overseen the work of energy consultants in modeling and analyzing the energy use and projected savings of alternative building and design measures for multifamily housing projects.

 Tassafaronga Village Aerial View

DRA is skilled at assessing the financial feasibility of high cost measures, such as PV systems and energy conservation measures. DRA is also expert with the federal Investment Tax Credit for PV systems, the California Solar Initiative, utility rebates, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), and the federal Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) as applied to real estate transactions including eligible sustainable measures.

DRA’s expertise includes analyzing the effect of energy conservation measures and solar energy generation systems on allowable affordable rent calculations for Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects, long-term supportable debt calculations and the determination of Low Income Housing Tax Credit eligible basis and financing.

DRA is also skilled at crafting state-of-the-art district-wide and/or jurisdiction-wide practices for land use planning and development standards for sustainability. This includes infill, transit-oriented and high-density development practices. DRA is committed to advancing green building standards in new construction and rehabilitation projects, as well as green standards in on-going operations, maintenance and asset management of existing projects.