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Green Affordable Housing

"Green affordable housing" is a term used to describe housing that is both energy-efficient and affordable to low- or moderate-income families. A variety of green-building strategies have been developed to reduce the amount of energy consumed by new and existing homes. The thoughtful application of those strategies to affordable housing can be instrumental in reducing families' utility costs. Family energy costs – along with greenhouse gas emissions – can be further reduced by increasing the compactness of development near public transit stops and job centers and in walkable communities and ensuring the permanent affordability of homes in these locations to low- and moderate-income families.

Explore the following sections in to learn about green affordable housing and other strategies for reducing the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with housing:

  • Energy-Efficient Construction and Rehabilitation -- As concern about climate change and utility costs grows, many government officials, architects and developers are turning towards environmentally-friendly design and construction techniques. Green-building techniques are energy and resource efficient, using less water and electricity than conventional buildings.
  • Green Affordable Housing Resource List -- An annotated resource list on green affordable housing that includes studies of the costs and benefits of green affordable housing; green building standards; national green building programs and resources; state and local incentive programs for green building; and reports on built environment, energy consumption, and climate change.
  • Improving the Coordination of Housing and Transportation Policy -- Using environmentally-friendly building techniques and materials is one way to improve the energy efficiency of new and rehabilitated homes, but the location of those homes is just as important. Strategic placement of new homes near public transit and in walkable, mixed-use communities minimizes reliance on personal vehicles, lowering families' transportation costs while benefitting the environment and the community at large.

In Focus Series on Affordable, Energy-Efficient Homes
Over the six-month period from June to November 2008,'s monthly In Focus newsletter will highlight six state and local housing strategies that can help preserve and expand the supply of affordable, energy-efficient homes to:
  • Improve energy efficiency in the construction, rehabilitation, and operation of affordable homes.
  • Reduce reliance on cars through increased density near public-transit and job centers and creation of more walkable communities.
  • Guarantee access by low- and moderate-income families to quality, affordable housing opportunities near public transit and job centers and in walkable communities.

Click here to learn more about this series.
What do green, affordable homes look like?

Check out the following entries from the Gallery of Affordable Homes to find out:

Erie Ellington HomesErie-Ellington Homes
Boston, MA

Fairbanks Ridge
San Diego, CA

Galen Terrace
Washington, DC

Blacksburg, VA

See also:

and Joyce Dinkins Gardens - New York, NY

High Point - Seattle, WA

Oleson Woods - Tigard, OR

Tsigo Bugeh Village - San Juan Pueblo, NM

Villas on Sixth - Austin, TX