Ceci Berman Participates In Panel Discussion With Broward Housing And Community Development Task Force
Brannock & Humphries shareholder Ceci Berman was part of a lively panel discussion at the June meeting of the Broward County Housing and Community Development Task Force regarding consumer protection issues involving Florida’s Property Assessed Clean Energy, or “PACE,” financing program.
Ms. Berman is a leading expert in legal challenges to the PACE program, having handled one of the only cases in the country to challenge the superpriority lien status of PACE loans. The PACE program, which was enacted in 2010 as part of Florida’s emphasis on promoting renewable energy and energy conservation, offers property owners an incentive to make green improvements, such as installing solar energy systems or wind-resistant shingles. The program provides financing that requires little to no money up front, with the loan repaid through property tax assessments over time. It has proven controversial in part because of the absence of federal regulation and in part because a PACE loan takes priority over other recorded liens, including preexisting mortgages.
The Broward Task Force, which aims to promote and support community development and affordable housing initiatives, brought together lenders and local government employees to consider the pros and cons of the PACE program. Ms. Berman was joined on the panel by representatives from Ygrene, the leading PACE finance provider in Florida. She offered the counterpoint to the lenders’ view of the PACE program.