Green Affordable Housing

THE PROJECT

For our Green Urbanism Program's Greening of Affordable Housing Initiative, we work extensively with nonprofit community development corporations, architects, financial institutions, and government agencies at the local, state, and national level.

OUR PARTICIPATION

With work in the field for more than a decade, Global Green USA has established itself as a national leader in promoting green building practices in the affordable housing community. Green affordable housing directly benefits individuals and families in need by reducing energy bills and creating healthier living environments. Affordable housing developers and operators gain through higher quality, more efficient, and more durable buildings.

Working with green building and affordable housing organizations, Global Green provides information and education on the practices and components of green affordable housing, cost issues and financial strategies, and relevant policy initiatives. At the project level, Global Green regularly conducts workshops and green building charrettes and assists development teams certify their projects through third party rating systems such as Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System for Homes, the Green Communities Initiative, andLEED for Neighborhood Development.

On the program and policy front, Global Green is engaged in a range of endeavors locally and nationally to encourage the development of green affordable housing, including:

  • Developing and advocating for the inclusion of green building criteria in affordable housing funding mechanisms in California, New York and Texas.
  • Participating as a national partner and technical assistance provider in the Enterprise Community Partners' Green Communities Initiative.
  • Authoring the "Making Affordable Housing Truly Affordable" report, which provides an analysis of green building criteria in state qualified allocation plans (each state's guidelines for allocating low-income housing tax credits) nationally.
  • Providing assistance to Habitat for Humanity on their Operation Home Delivery program which is rebuilding over 3,000 homes in the hurricane devastated Gulf Coast region.

WORK HISTORY

Our work with affordable housing developers has resulted in more than 1200 units of LEED-certified, energy-efficient and healthy homes.

Current and past affordable housing development partners include Bridge Housing, Mercy Housing, Abode Communities, LA Housing Partnership, Wakeland Housing, Community HousingWorks, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, and several Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country.

In New Orleans, Global Green USA's Build It Back Green (BIBG) outreach program provided residents with free and trustworthy technical assistance and education on how to make their homes more energy-efficient, storm-resistant, and healthier -- and to help them save on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints. The program ran 2008 through 2011. We estimate that clients have saved 34% on utility costs after coming in contact with Build It Back Green.

ZERO ENERGY AFFORDABLE HOUSING

A zero energy building or net zero energy building is a term used for a building that greatly reduces its energy demand via efficiency measures and then meets that demand through on-site energy generation, typically solar. Zero energy buildings are gaining considerable interest as a means to cut greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy.

Global Green has developed a business model to develop zero energy affordable housing that is now being used throughout the state of California. This business model, and a suite of resources Global Green provides to support the model, lowers and stabilizes utility bills for low-income families, while allowing affordable housing developers to reduce operating costs and maintain a healthily portfolio of affordable properties.

SOLAR AFFORDABLE HOUSING ASSESSMENT CALCULATOR

Global Green USA created a Solar Affordable Housing Assessment calculator to assist affordable housing developers and their design and finance teams in assessing various options for incorporating solar photovoltaic systems into their California-based Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments.

The assessment marries design and finance considerations by asking questions that should be answerable during schematic design. The calculator produces a variety of financial scenarios that developers can incorporate into their preliminary pro-formas and tax credit applications, as well as photovoltaic sizing options that design teams can use to issue RFPs for solar design/build services.

CASE STUDIES AND PUBLICATIONS

Our case studies describe innovative green affordable housing projects that range from maximizing green building techniques with limited resources to meeting net zero goals.

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2005

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2006

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2007

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2008

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2009

Green Income Criteria for Affordable Housing: QAP 2012

VIDEOS

Video of our work on green affordable housing

Video of our work on affording housing development Casa Dominquez