Green Building in Affordable Housing Reaches Critical Mass

Seven years ago, Global Green USA developed a performance ranking system to compare states’ efforts to build sustainably-designed, healthy and energy efficient affordable housing. We recently completed our “Progress and Possibilities” report evaluating the 2012 Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), which guide the distribution of the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC). LIHTC supports development of nearly 100,000 housing units annually for individuals and families living below median income levels. The results of this year’s analysis clearly demonstrate that green building has become a fundamental element of many states’ QAPs. For the first time, two states – Connecticut and Maryland – achieved perfect scores. Nearly half (47%) of all LIHTC funds went to states achieving an A- or better in our ranking, and 72% of all funds went to states that received a B- or better. Use of third-party standards is also growing. In the first year of analysis (2005), only 8 states mentioned a third party green building certification program in their QAP. Now, more than half of all states reference national or regional programs like LEED, Enterprise Green Communities, Green Point Rated, and Earthcraft. In 15 states, the majority of funded housing projects pursue green building certification.



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