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Sustainable Housing
Photo Credit: HPD
Sustainable Housing

Green buildings not only help the environment but also help New Yorkers live in healthy and affordable homes. Through a uniform green building policy, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) ensures that affordable housing projects are constructed with green building features that will lower utility bills and benefit occupants' health. Lower utility bills are an important factor in maintaining the affordability and long-term viability of the affordable housing stock in New York City. A recent Housing Vacancy Survey showed that between 2005 and 2008, citywide contract rents only increased 1.6 percent in real dollars, while rents that included utilities increased by 4.2 percent over the same period. The data demonstrated that rates for utilities were going up faster than rates for rents.

Since 2011, HPD has required new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects receiving HPD funding to achieve certification under the national Enterprise Green Communities green building program, which is specifically designed for the affordable housing sector and strongly aligns with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Homes rating system. The program takes into account the following factors:
  • Integrated Design
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Health
  • Materials Beneficial to the Environment
  • Location and Neighborhood Fabric
  • Operations and Maintenance
During 2011, 24 affordable housing projects entered the Green Communities certification pipeline as the HPD green building policy was phased in, with an expectation of about 40 to 60 projects certified annually going forward. Enterprise has partnered with HPD to provide certification and technical support at no cost to projects. For more information download the Enterprise Green Communities Overview (in PDF) and Enterprise Green Communities 2008 Guidebook (in PDF).

Visit HPD Green Building to learn more about how HPD makes affordable housing healthy and green.
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