While helping a client explore the matrix of options for a potential Green Affordable Housing development, I came across two different grant sources that specifically support Green Affordable Housing efforts:
The first grant is “The Affordable Housing Initiative” offered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through a grant from the Home Depot Foundation and is intended to developers achieve LEED for Homes (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification of their affordable housing projects by helping to cover the costs of the certification process including registration, verification and certification costs.
- Charrettes Grants which provide up to $5,000 in funding “to assist housing developers with integrating green building systems in their developments and engage in a serious discussion of green design possibilities”.
- Planning & Construction Grants of up to $75,000 to cover the increases in planning & construction expenses that may be attributable to upgrading the design and performance of the project for sustainability.
- Sustainability Training Grants of up to $5,000 for affordable housing developers to cover the costs of designing and implementing a comprehensive training curriculum and operations & maintenance manual supporting the long-term operations and maintenance of the properties after construction is complete.
Green Communities offers these grants and provide a range of loan products and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Equity assistance to affordable housing projects that adhere to the Green Communities Criteria, which is similar to the LEED for Homes Certification Criteria.
Bringing well thought out green design to affordable housing projects adds another level of true sustainability to the project and to the community in which it is built by increasing the efficiency of the project and reducing the long-term operations and maintenance costs of the building. Projects may apply for and qualify for any combination of these special funding opportunities available specifically for green development. They can be added to the Pro Forma along with the other affordable housing funding opportunities that may be available.