Subsidized Affordable Housing Projects Required to Build
According to Sustainability Standards Beginning in 2010
The Denver Office of Economic Development recently adopted a series of sustainability standards for all City-supported affordable housing. Beginning in January 2010, all affordable housing projects receiving City subsidies will meet the Enterprise Green Communities criteria. Affordable housing developers are encouraged to build according to the standards during 2008 and 2009. The city’s adoption of the standards was announced earlier this week at the Energy Star Summit, in Denver.
“As part of our Office’s commitment to Greenprint Denver, we have pledged to make green affordable housing a reality within the City and County of Denver,” said Andre Pettigrew, director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. “By adopting the Green Communities approach, we look forward to not only building healthier living environments for lower-income families, but lowering their energy costs as well.”
Covering energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor air quality, the Green Communities criteria is the first national framework for healthy, efficient, environmentally smart affordable homes. The standards were developed by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., and are aligned with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.
“Enterprise developed Green Communities with the goal of making environmentally sustainable development the mainstream in the affordable housing industry,” said Karen Lado, Enterprise Denver Office director. “We are honored to be working with the City to make this goal a reality in Denver.”
Through the Denver Office of Economic Development, the City and County of Denver helps fund the construction of approximately 100 for-sale and 250 rental affordable housing units annually. Subsidies are provided through federal funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Affordable units are offered to individuals that meet the income requirements. Units are deed restricted to ensure long-term affordability within the Denver market.
“Denver is on the leading edge of cities that have adopted green criteria into their building standards for affordable housing,” said Michele Weingarden, director of Greenprint Denver, Mayor John Hickenlooper’s comprehensive sustainability initiative. “In Denver’s climate, commercial and residential buildings use a significant amount of energy, making them a leading contributor of greenhouse gasses. Green Communities will go a long way toward conserving our use of energy resources, reducing air pollution, and addressing our city’s carbon footprint.”
To assist affordable housing builders and developers with complying with the sustainability standards, the Denver Office of Economic Development will be offering a series of training opportunities beginning in early 2008.
The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) works to create a local environment that stimulates balanced economic growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options and neighborhood redevelopment.