Building industry professionals familiar with affordable housing should be aware of Enterprise Green Communities, as it is one of only three accepted sustainable building certification bodies recognized in IHDA’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
The Green Communities criteria is a green rating program that focuses on sustainability in affordable housing, and does not require registration fees or the additional cost of third-party verification. In addition to Enterprise Green Communities, IHDA’s program recognizes the USGBC’s LEED program and the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Certification at the Emerald level. Enterprise Green Communities Criteria were designed to provide cost effective standards for healthy and energy efficient homes.
This certification process is arranged to facilitate concurrent enrollment with other green rating programs such as LEED and Energy STAR.
In some cases it allows compliance via alternative methods of green building that can be achieved without an exceptional cost premium.
Enterprise provides grants, loans and tax credit equity for projects focused on low- and moderate-income housing. In addition to financial products, Enterprise offers informational resources such as tutorials for fundraising and research documents on development strategies.
The Green Communities Initiative also offers financial and informational resources for projects that combine sustainability with affordability, such as integrative design tools, technical reports, training guides, and grants up to $5,000 toward design charrettes.