U.S. Green Building Council
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Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program

Everyone deserves access to housing that is healthy, affordable, and accessible to jobs and amenities. Bank of America and USGBC are helping make it happen.

The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program awards funding and provides educational resources to developers of affordable housing developers who are pursuing certification using the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. With generous support from the Bank of America Foundation, the grant program recognizes affordable housing developers who are committed to building sustainable communities.

A solution for the community

A lack of quality, affordable housing remains one of the most critical problems facing metropolitan regions across the country and around the globe. Over 6.5 million low-income families spend more than 50% of their incomes on housing and utility costs, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Less expensive housing is often located far from job centers and transit, further burdening low-income families.

Encouraging locations central to jobs, services and amenities, LEED ND is transforming neighborhoods into walkable, affordable, sustainable communities to live, work and learn.

Program details

The goal of the grant program is to build capacity amongst the developers of affordable housing to incorporate the principles of LEED ND and ultimately achieve certification. Eleven registered projects pursuing LEED for Neighborhood Development in the US and up to three in Canada will be awarded with a grant, educational package, and other benefits in Fall 2014. Applications are evaluated on various environmental and social criteria, including creating mixed-income communities, redeveloping infill and previously developed sites, engaging stakeholders in the development process, and revitalizing both the project area and the surrounding community. Projects that best meet the stated criteria and elevate the design and sustainability of an affordable green neighborhood will be selected.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be a 501c3 non-profit organization or public agency involved in the ownership, development, or financing of the project (a for-profit developer can apply as long as they are working with a non-profit or receiving funding from a local, state, or federal source)
  • Project must be in the United States or Canada
  • Project must be registered for LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development
  • Project must meet or exceed one or both affordability thresholds based on NPD Credit 4: Mixed-Income Diverse Communities
    • Rental: The project must meet or exceed the NPDc4, Option 2, exemplary performance threshold: at least 30% of the rental units must be affordable to families earning less than 60% of AMI or at least 50% of the rental units must be affordable to families earning less than 80% of AMI.
    • For-sale: the project must meet or exceed NPDc4, Option 2, with at least 20% of the for-sale units affordable to families earning less than 100% of AMI.

Preference will be given to qualifying projects that meet additional goals, including the redevelopment of infill and previously developed sites, effort to strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods, commitment to engage stakeholders in the development process, and the provision of green housing for a range of income levels.

How to Apply

Awards for the 2014 Affordable Green Neighborhoods grant program have already been distributed and the program is not currently accepting new applications.

Future funding has not yet been secured for another round of the grant program. If you have any questions on the program or would like to be notified of future funding opportunities, please email neighborhoods@usgbc.org.

Download Application Download Agreement

Grant recipients receive:

  • A $31,000 USD cash award, to be used to pursue LEED-ND certification
  • One LEED-ND Reference Guide
  • One registration for a LEED-ND online training/webinar series
  • Registration for one LEED-ND workshop
  • Registration and exam fees for one team member to sit for the LEED Green Associate or Accredited Professional exam
  • Access to USGBC technical assistance and monthly conference calls
  • One registration for the Affordable Homes and Sustainable Communities Summit at Greenbuild 2014 in New Orleans, LA
  • Travel stipend to support attendance at the Affordable Homes and Sustainable Communities Summit

Additionally, up to five projects will be selected to receive a two-day, in-person technical assistance session with a team of USGBC and GBCI staff.

2014 Grant Recipients

Bartlett Place
Roxbury, MA

Butler Street Y Lofts
Atlanta, GA

Essex Crossing
New York, NY

Faubourg Lafitte
New Orleans, LA

Northwest Gardens
Ft Lauderdale, FL

Rebuild Potrero
San Francisco, CA

Sheppard Square HOPE VI Revitalization
Louisville, KY

TNT Eco-Innovation District
Dorchester, MA

Villages at Cabrillo
Long Beach, CA

West Grand and Brush
Oakland, CA

Westview Village
Ventura, CA