Affordable Housing and LEED
42% of all LEED for Homes are Affordable Housing
Why should I build LEED for Homes qualified affordable housing?
A home is not affordable if it is not energy efficient, healthy and durable. Affordable homes that are certified under the LEED for Homes Program will be distinguished in their markets as environmentally responsible and higher quality products. AES now provides a discounted provider fee on single-family LEED affordable housing projects.
LEED‐rated homes benefit residents directly because the LEED Rating System incorporates prerequisites related to occupant health and well‐being. In addition, the mandatory energy‐related prerequisites ensure at least 20‐30% energy savings (relative to the national energy code).
How will the quality of LEED Homes be assured?
The strength of LEED for Homes is third‐party verification. People work better when they know someone will be coming along to check their work. This verification process includes both on‐site inspections to ensure that the LEED for Homes features have been installed correctly and performance testing to ensure proper performance.
How will this benefit my affordable housing group?
LEED for Homes can improve your group’s donations. Affordable housing groups such as Youthbuild and Habitat for Humanity have successfully attracted new donors once they embarked on a LEED for Homes project. The LEED brand is well respected and can be leveraged as a marketing tool, and third-party verification of LEED provides accountability for how funding sources are used. Some affordable housing groups even report donors coming out of the woodwork once the project announced its intentions to pursue LEED certification.
What kind of funding is available to affordable housing projects?
LEED for Homes works well with Enterprise Green Communities, local state grants, tax credit financing, and other sources. Contact AES for more information.
The Home Depot Foundation always encourages green and LEED construction and they are especially are interested in funding projects that benefit the elderly, veteran or disabled population.
- Pay attention to your end users: project design should be responsive to their specific needs, habits, and preferences.
- Use well-tested technologies; try to avoid being an “early adopter”.
- Durability is essential to green design–choose materials that will stand the test of time, even with heavy use.
- Homeowner education is key to success!
What are the objectives of the Initiative for Affordable Housing? The Initiative for Affordable Housing is a component of LEED for Homes that addresses the inherent differences between affordable housing – particularly multi‐family homes – and market‐rate, single‐family homes. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to recognize and reward the intrinsic resource efficiencies of affordable housing in the LEED for Homes rating system. In this way, USGBC and many grant opportunities will help promote sustainable building practices specifically for affordable homes.
LEED for Homes certification requirements include several measures specifically intended to reward efficiencies typical of affordable projects:
• Compact developments (up to 3 points);
• Site selection and close to existing infrastructure (up to 3 points)
• Limit outdoor water use (automatically earned by compact developments —1 point)
• Homes with ready access to community resources and open spaces (up to 3 points);
• Homes that are smaller than the national average (up to 10 points).
The USGBC has created three FREE online classes on Affordable Housing anyone can take:
- Affordable Green Multifamily Retrofits
- Operations & Maintenance of Green Affordable Housing
- Data Collection and Analysis of Green Affordable Housing