Looking Forward Programs Partnerships and Policies

Greening affordable housing is clearly achievable if the right combination of enthusiasm, expertise, creativity, and ambition is brought to a project. Leading developers nationally are starting to embrace the comprehensive, systematic application of green building to all of their projects through the integrated design process and by using LEED, Green Communities, or other standards. For many other designers and developers, the core elements of green building have rapidly become standard practice. ENERGY STARĀ® appliances; efficient windows, air conditioners, and lighting; low-volatile organic compounds (low-VOC) paint; dedicated kitchen and bath ventilation; low water landscaping; engineered wood products; and construction waste recycling are common.

However, to meet the long-term goal of all affordable housing being built to green standards, there is still much work to be done. Further education and technical assistance is needed for the development community. Additional funding support is needed to accelerate deployment of photovoltaic systems, green roofs, heat recovery ventilation, and other emerging technologies, and to be a catalyst for the next generation of net-zero or climate neutral designs. Perhaps most importantly, more and higher quality data on the costs, monetary savings, and other benefits of green building need to be gathered, analyzed, and provided to policymakers, financial institutions, and operations staff.

Following are examples of programs and organizations that are leading the way toward creating affordable housing that incorporates green comprehensively in design, financing, construction, and operation.

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