Update on PACE

Update on PACE

With about 80% of California now covered by a commercial PACE program, we recently did a webinar on how to actually put these programs to use.

Here’s the video, and power points are as follows:
Simon Bryce on CaliforniaFIRST (pdf)
Derek Brown with a financing perspective (pdf)
Richard Chien presenting a case study on the city of San Francisco’s landmark project with ProLogis (pdf)

Good stuff.

Note that commercial programs are unaffected by the FHFA prohibition, as Fannie and Freddie cover only the residential market (quick background here). And on the subject, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the status of the FHFA situation.

In an nutshell, it’s still ongoing.  Several entities, including the California Attorney General, took FHFA to court.  The judge in that lawsuit required FHFA to conduct rulemaking on their action.  There was a huge response — here are the filings for suggestions for the proposed rule, and here are the comments to the proposed rule itself.  We worked with a tremendous coalition to put together a rock-solid response (pdf), if we don’t say so ourselves.  America wants PACE, and wants it now!

FHFA is supposed to issue its final rule in the matter on May 14, but has indicated that it may ask for an extension.

In the interim, some places are going forward with residential PACE programs.  Brave souls: FHFA has essentially threatened to foreclose properties that have PACE assessments, and redline municipalities that establish PACE assessment districts.  While we believe that these are valid and legal assessments, that’s a lot of risk to run.

Which is all the more reason for FHFA to move expeditiously on establishing best-practice underwriting criteria as we argue in our rulemaking comments — that way, well-designed programs can move forward in ways that best protect all stakeholders.  There’s a tremendous hunger out there for effective solutions, and people shouldn’t have to run the gauntlet of risking punitive actions from FHFA to do the right thing for our energy future.