This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 27, 2005

Massachusetts Joins Effort to Build "Green" Affordable Housing

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced in early July that two agencies within the state have joined with The Enterprise Foundation, a national nonprofit, to launch a $209-million initiative for building "green" affordable housing. Through the new Massachusetts Green Communities Initiative, MassHousing and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) will work with The Enterprise Foundation to help build 1,000 energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, affordable homes throughout the state. In particular, MTC will provide $8.5 million in grants for the homes to employ renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, small hydropower systems, and fuel cells. Massachusetts Green Communities is part of the National Green Communities Initiative, a five-year, $555-million commitment to build more than 8,500 environmentally responsible and affordable homes. See the governor's press release, the MTC "Green Affordable Housing Program" Web page, the Massachusetts Green Communities Web site, and the National Green Communities Web site.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developer of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, is also getting involved in affordable housing. The USGBC is currently developing a LEED rating system for homes, called LEED for Homes. Thanks to a grant from the Home Depot Foundation, USGBC will also launch the Initiative for Affordable Housing, which will include a reference manual, pilot demonstrations of LEED for Homes in six housing markets, and new affordable housing training sessions at the USGBC's annual conference this November. See the USGBC press release.