Best practices in green affordable housing
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This report is an exploration of the theoretical and applied aspects of green affordable housing. First, it presents an in-depth examination of the current status of green affordable housing by exploring the synergy between green rating systems which guide and certify developments and the financial and policy mechanisms which either support or curtail them. Second, this report will analyze diverse case studies from around the country in order to examine how green affordable housing is developed in various real-world contexts. Two-tiers of case studies are presented: secondary and primary. Secondary case studies receive a brief overview while the primary case study examines in-depth an ongoing development in Austin, Texas. The primary case is also an example of current innovative movements and provides a glimpse into what the future of green affordable housing might look like. And lastly, conclusions are drawn from the research that itemize best practices in green affordable housing. The report concludes that green affordable housing is not an easy development practice and thus, recommendations are provided to ease some of the existing barriers to further development. This report also concludes that while costbenefit analyses and arguments for energy-efficiency are salient, concerns for public and environmental health need equal weight in the argument and advocacy for green affordable housing. I argue that green affordable housing should be developed with an integrated design process specific to local context, with a local visioning process that cultivates community connections. And most importantly, education for housing providers and tenants regarding on-going operations and maintenance is a crucial part of that integrated design process.