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Value healthy and efficient affordable housing

High utility bills are pervasive in affordable housing. In fact, low-income households spend on average 19.5 percent of annual income on home energy costs, while the average for median-income households is just 4.6 percent, according to one report. These vulnerable households are often comprised of children, seniors and people with chronic disabilities. For this demographic, high utility bills are a serious problem, but asthma, allergies, and other chronic problems that can be exacerbated by exposure to toxins in the built environment can be matters of life and death.

Extending the benefits of efficient, healthy buildings should not be an option.

USGBC's Value Healthy and Efficient Affordable Housing campaign advocates for the adoption of greener building practices by housing finance authorities, public housing authorities and the projects that they fund. Recognizing green building rating systems in the established scoring systems for competitively awarded loans for affordable housing developments would be a significant step forward.

Green buildings for all people is one of the core values held by USGBC, memorialized in its guiding principles and put to work in its strategic plan. This campaign to promote green affordable housing seeks to achieve these goals through advocacy of smart policy changes.