The Long Island chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council encourages consumers to support the PACE Assessment Protection Act. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs are under fire after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took issue with the tax-assessed financing program. PACE projects take a superior position to even the first mortgage, and the mortgage giants don’t like playing second fiddle to anyone.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) fired the first shot in the battle when they essentially halted programs across the nation by prohibiting financing on PACE-assessed homes. Environmental organizations and city governments quickly jumped into the fray. The Sierra Club, Sonoma County (California), and the California attorney general have all filed suit against the FHFA for blocking this program.

PACE programs are getting Congressional support thanks to Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and other representatives who have introduced the PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010. This act would require all lenders to comply with local PACE programs.

“PACE programs are an important part of the push to create a green economy and reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” said Congressman Thompson. “They create jobs, and are an exciting way for homeowners to reduce their energy bills while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is especially important in California, which has already taken significant steps to ensure that PACE programs are available to 70% of Californians by the end of 2010. And our district has been a national leader in getting these programs up and running – lending institutions should not interfere with these great green energy programs.” Source: Congressman Mike Thompson

It may be some time before the lawsuits are settled or the legislation is passed. Unfortunately PACE programs across the country are in a holding pattern until the issue is resolved.

Photo: richardmasoner/Flickr

Support the PACE protection act
The PACE Assessment Protection Act of 2010 will require mortgage lenders to underwrite loans on PACE assessed properties.