Washington, D.C.—Enterprise Community Partners today announced a $4 billion commitment to launch the next generation of its Green Communities initiative. This commitment will accelerate catalytic change in the affordable housing industry and create significant positive impact in the lives of low-income individuals and families across the country.
“We want everything Enterprise touches to be green by 2013,” said Charles R. Werhane, president and CEO, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. “We now have the proof that it works and we are poised to take the initiative to the next level. By bringing more innovative and responsive financing tools to our partners, we are pushing forward systemic change in our industry. The next generation of Enterprise Green Communities is our commitment to expand our efforts nationwide.”
The next generation of Enterprise Green Communities will be the catalyst for unprecedented health, economic and environmental benefits to hundreds of thousands of families in neighborhoods across America.
As a cornerstone to the announcement, Enterprise released “Incremental Cost, Measurable Savings: Enterprise Green Communities Criteria,” a first-of-its-kind study showing the cost effectiveness of meeting Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.
The report reveals that estimated lifetime savings exceed the initial investment made to incorporate the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria into affordable housing. Green affordable homes offer significant health, economic and environmental benefits to residents by addressing energy efficiency, water conservation, use of healthy materials, high-quality indoor air and location of affordable housing. Integrating the required green measures from the Criteria also can produce substantial increases in the quality of life of residents living in the housing.
“Enterprise is once again taking real action and leading by example to create green jobs and build healthy, sustainable, affordable housing,” said Shaun Donovan, secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “Furthermore, they have done the research to measure success and make the case for sustainable housing in a way only the real numbers can do. HUD is working with other federal agencies to guarantee that we meet housing and transportation goals for sustainable growth while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development and addressing the challenges of climate change in rural, suburban and urban communities nationwide.”
Enterprise’s own efforts will result directly in the creation, preservation or retrofit of 75,000 green homes and community and commercial buildings within the next five years. Enterprise will lend to existing multifamily building owners for energy and water reduction capital purchases and healthy living environment improvements. Enterprise also is purchasing carbon offsets from green affordable housing developers by raising charitable contributions through its Green Communities Offset Fund. And Enterprise Homes is building and rehabilitating 100 percent to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.
“Green building offers tremendous opportunities to support all pieces of the triple bottom line: economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social equity,” said Roger Platt, senior vice president of global policy and law at the U.S. Green Building Council.
To ensure a lasting, scalable future for this trailblazing initiative, Enterprise is developing new tools for greening affordable housing. These include a national retrofit protocol for building performance audits and an industry-wide data management platform to track building performance, as well as green asset management and policy guidance. This unique combination of cutting-edge research, broad-based knowledge sharing and on-the-ground technical assistance will set a new industry standard.
A $1.5 million grant from The Home Depot Foundation and $1 million grants from both The Kresge Foundation and The Kendeda Fund helped kick off Enterprise’s bold new fundraising efforts. Others affirming their partnership with Enterprise and leading the way to support the next generation of Enterprise Green Communities include Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Living Cities, Surdna Foundation and The Oak Hill Fund.