Origin Stories: Bright Power’s Caitlin Rood On The Hard Work Of Blending Affordable Housing And Sustainability


This series delves into the myriad ways people enter the commercial real estate industry and what contributes to their success.

When Caitlin Rood entered the affordable housing industry in 2013 as an experienced sustainability professional, she had a plan. She would start with low-hanging fruit, accumulate savings, reinvest in deeper opportunities and repeat across the portfolio of Mercy Housing, which she ended up serving as national director of sustainability.

It was a strategy that worked for her in other industries. But she soon learned affordable housing is a little different.

Rood doubled down on learning the intricacies of her new industry and started making inroads in Mercy Housing’s portfolio, eventually guiding it in 2020 to become the first national multifamily housing organization recognized in the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Better Buildings Challenge for achieving energy savings of 24%. She is now the chair of the Multifamily Sector Steering Committee for that same Better Buildings Challenge.

This year, Rood left Mercy for Bright Power where she will continue to focus on decreasing operating expenses and lowering energy and water consumption at affordable and supportive housing.

Rood said she is seeing increased attention to environmental sustainability and hopes that indicates the world community is starting to move in a different, greener direction.

Read the full interview on Bisnow’s website.