Guide to Affordable Green Housing for Local Govt

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Guide to Affordable Green Housing for Local Govt

Postby jperrone » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:45 pm

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Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing

Households across the nation spend more than $160 billion on energy to heat, cool, light, and live in their homes each year, and residential energy consumption accounts for more than 20% of the nation’s total energy consumption (U.S. EPA, 2006b). These energy costs contribute to the overall financial burden of housing, and can make housing unaffordable for many families. In 2006, close to 40 million households spent 30% or more of their incomes on housing – the threshold used by the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to identify households in need of affordable housing (see text box at right) (Brennan and Lipman, 2008). To help make housing more affordable, HUD and other public and private entities administer a number of assistance programs. For example, in 2008, HUD provided support to approximately five million low-income households through its public housing, rental assistance, and other housing assistance programs (U.S. HUD, 2008).

Improving energy efficiency in housing can help make homes more affordable by reducing the energy cost burden on low-income households while generating other energy, environmental, and economic benefits for the local community and region, such as increased employment and reduced demand for federal assistance program resources.
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