December 2009

Make it Right – Solar, Inc.

THE PROJECT

In December 2009, AMCREF Community Capital (AMCREF), provided $2.8 million of NMTC financing to Make it Right – Solar, Inc. (MIR Solar), a subsidy of Make it Right – New Orleans (MIR). MIR is a non-profit helping former residents of the Lower 9th Ward return home. MIR assembled preeminent architects to create a new model for green high-performance affordable housing. MIR is building 150 homes, which are raised to avoid floods, able to withstand hurricane force winds, use environmentally safe materials, and reduce homeowner energy costs by 75% (LEED Platinum). MIR is selling the homes to former residents of the low-income neighborhood at an affordable price with flexible financing, and is also providing valuable green-building training to local contractors and neighborhood LIC residents. Through this project, MIR is successfully working toward its goal of constructing high-performance green homes for the same price as conventional affordable homes, which will benefit LIC homeowners nationwide, as well as the environment. The MIR project is located in highly distressed GO Zone LICs that were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. AMCREF advised MIR to create MIR Solar, a for-profit subsidiary, which enabled them to cost effectively provide solar energy systems for LIPs and LIC residents by maximizing MIR Solar’s use of government incentives.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Job Creation and Support: 2 direct FTEs maintained, 2 FTEs created; 8 indirect/induced FTEs; 7 construction jobs and 3 indirect/induced construction jobs
  • Services to LICs/LIPs: The creation of MIR Solar greatly reduced MIR’s costs and directly led to their ability to increase the size of the solar installations on each home, further reducing utility costs for the homeowners, over 65% of which are LIPs.
  • Renewable Energy: To date, MIR Solar has successfully installed over 575kw of solar energy and made over 165 installations, primarily in LICs, with an additional 5MW in pre-construction phase. They also received an additional $4M in NMTC funding since AMCREF’s investment.
  • Catalytic Effects/Future Projects: MIR Solar has already taken the necessary steps to implement their innovative business model to help multiple local nonprofits install solar panels to reduce LIP energy costs.
  • Awards: Novogradac “Development of Distinction Award, Renewable Energy”, 2010