Financing “climate-proof” housing? The premises and pitfalls of PACE finance in Florida

Zac J. Taylor*, Sarah E. Knuth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Amidst growing concerns about climate risks to the U.S. housing markets, strategies to physically retrofit homes are gaining attention—including within debates over how to resolve intersecting crises of housing re/insurability and affordability in highly exposed sites like Florida. We consider an important but under-studied example of this “climate-proofing” strategy unfolding today: Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance. While PACE has historically financed decarbonization retrofits, it is increasingly being deployed to facilitate hurricane risk reduction in Florida. In this paper, we introduce PACE: its basic characteristics, evolving uses, and controversies. Exploring the Florida case, we examine two deeper but as yet under-examined financial tensions: PACE’s intersections with other forms of property-linked finance (and potential systemic breakdowns) and rising affordability breakpoints as homeowners encounter its new debt amidst other growing and intersecting climate/climate response costs. These issues call for more transformative imaginaries of urban retrofitting and its resourcing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • climate risk
  • Finance
  • Florida
  • housing
  • retrofitting

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