The Healey-Driscoll administration announced Tuesday the creation of the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank dedicated to funding sustainable affordable housing. It's described as the first of its kind in the country.

"It's going to unlock and advance a wide range of green building and renovation projects," Gov. Maura Healey said at the announcement Tuesday. "It's going to do that by investing in affordable homes all across the state."

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Maura Healey announced Tuesday the launch of the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank

  • It is the nation’s first green bank, and will be dedicated to affordable housing

  • The bank is seeded with $50 million in state funds from the Department of Environmental Protection

  • The Massachusetts Community Climate Bank is located within MassHousing, the state’s affordable housing finance and investment bank

Healey said the bank has $50 million in state funds from the Department of Environmental Protection and looks to maximize investment in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector. The goal is to attract private sector capital and federal funds available under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

The Environmental League of Massachusetts said construction and buildings are among the top contributors of these gas emissions.

"Statewide, it is the second leading source of emissions, but particularly in cities, the emissions from buildings tends to be far and away the biggest sources of emissions," said Casey Bowers, executive director of the ELM's Action Fund. "To give you a sense, in Worcester, greenhouse gas emissions are about 65% from the built environment."

The bank also hopes to address equity. Healey said the bank will look to promote equitable energy transition.

"We're centering environmental justice for folks hit hardest by the climate impacts and high energy costs," Healey said.

The goal for the administration and the ELM is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The belief is climate the bank will help.

"Obviously, the sooner the better from our perspective," said Bowers. "But we know some of these things take time, they certainly take money, and we want to make sure that state's like Massachusetts are really leading."