Green Building Components - Affordable Housing
In Planning for Affordable Housing
According to Walker Wells, Director of Global Green's Urbanism Program, affordable housing is the gateway to development in redevelopment areas. Affordable housing is a public asset, it is an investment in a community and, as such, all the residents in that community are the investors. Green affordability is a microcosm of sustainability because nowhere else in planning or design is the triple bottom line addressed with such expediency. The building and operation of affordable housing must be economical, equitable and ecologically sound or the housing cannot remain affordable to lower-income households. If it's not green, it's not affordable.
The energy burden on low-income households is four times that of other American households as a proportion of income. As housing costs include rent and utilities, rent at an affordable level can be overshadowed by rapidly rising energy costs, and an inability to pay for utilities is second only to an inability to pay rent as a cause of homelessness. Any fear that green ordinances, codes and standards will increase "first costs" or design and construction expenditures (accounting for 5-10% of total life-cycle cost can be offset by knowledge of how operations and maintenance costs account for 60-80% of the total life-cycle costs, with considerable cost savings over time to the owner and/or renters.
The Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Handbook, from the Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Alliance, addresses the unique challenges to, and solutions for, energy-efficient affordable housing, including how to equitably determine who pays for and who benefits from efficiency measures and incentives, how residential vs. common areas are regulated, and how to calculate up-front and long-term costs and benefits for the developer and for approaching funding sources.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a public notice in June 2008, entitled "Renewable energy and green construction practices in Public Housing" which defines green-building principles for public housing and encourages public-housing agencies to use renewable resources, including solar and wind, and green-construction techniques. The subject memorandum resources are listed below.
Center for Housing Policy Policy Briefs and Executive Summaries
Briefs for creating and preserving affordable housing in areas where transportation costs are likely to be low covers options available at the local, regional, and state levels
Local Policy Options to Support Sustainable and Equitable Development
Regional Policy Options to Support Sustainable and Equitable Development
State Policy Options to Support Sustainable and Equitable Development
HousingPolicy.org Toolkit: Promote Sustainable and Equitable Development
Center for Housing Policy (HousingPolicy.org) policy guide features tools that states and localities can use to create and preserve affordable housing options transit stations and town centers.
Green Communities Initiative includes case studies and grant/policy/training information on affordable housing
Green Affordable Housing Coalition Bay Area public and private sector professionals practicing green building in the affordable housing industry
Getting Started with Green Preservation
Produced by Bay Area LISC's Green Connection program and the LISC's Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative, this site provides guidance on how greening fits into the process for preservation projects of existing HUD programs.
Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing – Global Green USA, Island Press, 2007 The book presents 12 case studies of model developments, including rental, home ownership, special needs, senior, self¬help, and cohousing from around the United States.
Enterprise Green Communities for Affordable Housing
Green Communities is the first national green building program developed for affordable housing.
Building A Green Team
Green Case Studies
» Adaptive Reuse
» Brownfields Cleanup
» Ecological Restoration
» Industrial Development Bonds
» Infill Development
» Sustainable Community
» Transit Oriented Development
» Capital Building Projects
» Tax Credits
» Sustainability and Implementation Plans
» More Projects
Cost And Benefits
Janet Myles, Independant Consultant
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