today announced a groundbreaking $4 billion commitment to launch the next generation of its Green Communities initiative. One of the largest private investments ever in green affordable housing, this commitment will accelerate change in the affordable housing industry and positively impact the lives of low-income individuals and families across the country.
As a cornerstone to the announcement, the organization also released the first-of-its-kind study proving the overall return on investment and cost effectiveness of meeting the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria when building affordable housing.
Building on its own commitment, Enterprise today issued a national call to action to the public, private and nonprofit sectors to make all affordable housing—new and existing— green by 2020. 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.
“We want everything Enterprise touches to be green by 2013,” says Charles R. Werhane, president and CEO, Enterprise Community Investment. “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.”
Based on years of research, 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 only comprehensive green building framework for affordable housing. In summary, estimated lifetime savings exceed the initial investment made to incorporate the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria into affordable housing.
Activities related to the next generation of Enterprise Green Communities are already under way. 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. Through newly established retrofit funds, in key markets, Enterprise will lend to existing multifamily building owners for energy and water reduction capital purchases and healthy living environment improvements.
In May, Enterprise committed its $95 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to target green deals, which bolster funding for commercial and mixed-use developments with a demonstrable community impact. Enterprise also is purchasing carbon offsets from green affordable housing developers by raising charitable contributions through its innovative Green Communities Offset Fund.
“Green building offers tremendous opportunities to support all pieces of the triple bottom line: economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and social equity,” says Roger Platt, senior vice president of global policy and law at the U.S. Green Building Council. “The leadership Enterprise has shown in advancing green affordable housing is crucial as we work to ensure that all members of our society have access to homes that can protect their health, stave off high utility bills and promote a healthier environment.”
To ensure a lasting, scalable future for this initiative, Enterprise is developing new tools for greening affordable housing. These include a national retrofit protocol for building performance audits and an industrywide 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 www.kresge.org and The Kendeda Fund
helped kick off Enterprise’s new fundraising efforts.