WHAT WE DO

Green New Deal Housing brings an integrated approach to community development and workforce training, to lead the transition to zero-carbon buildings and reduce the persistent racial and economic disparities in our community. Green New Deal Homes are at the core of this approach. 

 

Our vision is to create an equitable model for housing development, home ownership, participation in the new green economy, and community investment.

 

We do this by creating systemic solutions to systemic problems.

 

The strength and stability of a community of people, or a community of place (like a street, neighborhood, city, or country), come from many things. Access to quality education, opportunities for secure employment, proximity to the natural environment without persistent pollution, guarantees of personal safety, and affordable, dignified housing options … all of these elements contribute to the health and well-being of a community. These elements do not operate in isolation; they are interrelated and intertwined. 

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Click on the icons in our infographic above to learn more.

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AFFORDABLE HOMES

Every Green New Deal Home is beautiful, comfortable, efficient, durable and affordable.

 

We’re creating a new way to define and deliver affordable housing. Affordable doesn’t always mean inexpensive, but it does mean accessible.  Green New Deal homes are sold to buyers of many income levels. We don't change the quality of the home depending upon one's ability to pay. 

 

We achieve cost-effectiveness and quality control by using the same assemblies, materials and systems for all homes. In other words, each home is built in the same fashion, designed for durability, comfort, and low energy consumption.

 

“Affordability” must also include more than the monthly cost of a mortgage or rent. Monthly costs for housing include maintenance, repairs, and utility costs for energy, water, and sewer. Green New Deal Homes have very low ownership costs. Solar panels dramatically reduce electricity costs and can even yield payments to the owner (net positive energy). Maintenance costs are low because each home is built of durable materials with well-crafted construction.

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CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION

Buildings are a big part of the climate crisis problem.* 

They can be a big part of the solution.        

Green New Deal Homes are super-efficient, burn no fossil fuels and get all or most of their electricity from renewable energy. The CO2 emissions associated with a Green New Deal Home are a small fraction of what a typical new home emits. This is how homes need to be built to address the climate crisis.  

 

We will fail in our efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change if our solutions to environmental crises uphold the systemic injustices inherent in so many of our institutionalized programs and policies. At Green New Deal Housing, we are crafting and applying integrated strategies that address climate change in an equitable manner, to help create a more resilient, fair, vibrant and sustainable society.

 

*Nearly 40% of all U.S. energy consumption and CO2 emissions come from the construction and operation of buildings
(Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration eia.gov/tools/faqs). 

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WORKFORCE TRAINING

We don’t just build homes. We’re training the next generation of home builders. 

 

Developing energy efficient construction practices and renewable energy technology adoption are critical components of preparing our community for the transition that is needed as we take on the challenges of the climate crisis.

 

We deliver free training to builders and to people enrolled in workforce development programs. We also offer education to students, apprentices, and those interested in pursuing careers in design, engineering, construction and renewable energy.

 

Curriculum includes 

  • Building Science 

  • High Performance Residential Construction

  • Green Building Techniques and Technologies

 

Our goals include increasing the skills of our present workforce, and also increasing interest and recruitment in green building and sustainability-related educational programs and professions. If we can stimulate more local economic development in energy efficiency-related fields, we will be contributing to the green revolution our community and the whole world needs. 

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

We are literally building for the future we want.

 

The time has never been more urgent to transform our economy and our society, for everyone’s sake. Systemic disparities in wealth, income and opportunity are not only unjust, they are unsustainable. 

 

The future we want includes clean air, water, and energy and safe shelter to everyone, regardless of their background or zip code. We will build homes in all neighborhoods, but with a focus on communities suffering the largest inequities and the greatest need for investment. 

 

Jobs in construction and in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors pay higher than average wages, and also offer a variety of opportunities for people of many abilities. Our workforce training creates social, educational and economic opportunities that can help reduce disparities in community development and wealth.

 

We can be part of both the environmental and economic justice movements by:

  • offering free training and education, 

  • partnering with local initiatives aimed at recruiting workers from traditionally underserved communities, and by

  • building community-wide wealth with affordable, zero-energy housing.

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CLEAN ENERGY

We’re bringing the clean energy revolution into every home we build.
 

Energy obtained by burning fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, propane, coal) produces greenhouse gases as well as other pollutants. Clean energy is generated without the harmful emissions that contribute to climate change and human respiratory illness (among other things). Clean energy comes from renewable energy sources like the sun, wind and water. 

 

New homes do not need fossil fuels for their energy. By building homes with efficient enclosures and super-efficient electric appliances and mechanical equipment, homes can be powered by electricity produced with clean, renewable energy. 

 

Each all-electric Green New Deal Home will have a roof-mounted solar array sized to produce as much energy as the house would consume over the course of a year (zero net energy). In cases where a house will be oriented or located in such a way that a site-mounted solar array isn’t possible, we will invest in subscriptions of community solar gardens or solar offset credits to bring all homes into this net-zero paradigm. As our electric grid becomes less carbon-based and eventually carbon-free, our Green New Deal homes will also be zero-net carbon. 

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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

We are all stakeholders in the Green New Deal, whether we know it or not.

Our organization is strengthened by collaboration and community engagement. 

 

We will create ongoing opportunities to use the construction and operation of Green New Deal Homes as public education venues; “living labs” to promote and share ecological building practices, renewable energy technologies, and equitable development. We’ll share what we’re doing in a public format, and we’ll also showcase and support the activities of our allies. 

 

We’ll continually be engaging with our stakeholders, and asking for public input about our projects and our programs. Local participation, wisdom, experience and culture are essential to creating empathetic and empowering community solutions. 

 

Many historic and current stressors affect our communities. The impacts of those stressors develop over time and communities’ needs often shift or change as a result. Therefore, our work will also develop over time, as we respond and evolve in our quest to provide appropriate, affordable housing powered by clean energy, increase our construction and energy efficiency-related workforce, and contribute to community stability and resilience.

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BRIDGING THE GAP

Everyone deserves the opportunity for dignified, healthy and affordable housing, gainful employment, and economic security.

 

Most people can't afford a custom, architect-designed zero-net energy home. As a community development nonprofit corporation, we invest in exactly this kind of design and then we use it repeatedly and universally. By doing so, we create a cost-effective model for a new kind of housing. 

 

Many homebuyers who don't require a subsidy are seeking homes just like these. By selling the same homes at market rate to buyers who don’t need a subsidy and at lower prices to those who do, we use the profits from market-rate sales to help subsidize the cost of constructing homes sold to income-qualified buyers. 

 

We also use grants and other funding mechanisms to increase home ownership and investment in neighborhoods and communities where it is most needed. This includes creating education and economic opportunity in the form of training and jobs. 

 

We can’t change every embedded system of injustice, but we’re trying to make a difference in every aspect of our programming and product. Lower housing costs translate to higher disposable income. More valuable homes translate to increased wealth. Training in construction translates to increased earning potential and job opportunities. The financial side of our “bottom line” is based on equity.

 

Click here to learn more about our income qualifications and subsidy mechanisms.

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COMMUNITY BENEFIT

Our future depends on the changes we make in the present.

 

Green New Deal Housing is making systems change where it is needed most: in housing, 

jobs, and education. Our integrated and innovative approach improves our collective future with regard to climate change, economic inequity, and neighborhood health and resilience. 

 

We invest in both people and place: with particular emphasis on communities and neighborhoods where it is least likely that "the market" will stimulate the kind of investment urgently needed. Rather than isolating issues and people, our work centers around connecting people and the issues we face together. 

 

The community-wide benefits of our approach include:

  • More homes to answer the housing shortage, for a variety of income-levels;

  • Reducing household and citywide carbon emissions;

  • A larger, more diverse construction workforce, trained in green building practices;

  • Affordable access to building plans, for widespread adoption of zero-net energy home construction; and

  • Inclusivity and participation in a collective green transformation.