Those who live in the low socio-economic sector of our communities need sustainably built homes just as much as anyone, if not more.
Sustainable projects strengthen your economy. They strengthen your community. They brighten futures, and ensure a cleaner, healthier environment. That is a very powerful set of statements right out of the gate, isn’t it? Well, yes. Those are some pretty powerful things to say. Power is something that people of lower socio-econonic status don’t often have, but it is something that they deserve through a sustainably built community. The power to know that they live in a healthier home that is going to let them live a longer life, in a community that has been enriched with more jobs and lower operating costs.
We are seeing more an more sustainably built communities in Northern Virginia because the government offers wonderful programs with incentives to create more options for green built communities. Take into consideration the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s program to work with EarthCraft to certify homes are more energy efficient to gain more funding to build more units. Developers gain the option to build in a sustainable way for those who wouldn’t have had the ability to live in one of these healthier, more energy efficient units, had the developer not chosen to work with VHDA and this innovative EarthCraft program.
Another low income housing partner who has chosen to build in a healthier more energy efficient way in Northern Virginia is Habitat for Humanity. Both Habitat for Humanity of DC and their Arlington counterpart are working with EarthCraft Virginia to create affordable housing developments for low income families which are sustainably built and healthier for these families. Habitat for Humanity DC has even gone so far as to work toward LEED certification and a very high standard of indoor air quality.
Doesn’t it just make sense that families whom are on the lower level of income would want to have a home which has lower operating costs and would provide for a healthier environment? This way, once they are living inside their home, the opportunity for illness becomes lesser, and the opportunity to save money becomes greater! Low income housing and sustainability go hand in hand.
We hope to see more and more developments that utilize smart growth plans and sustainable development options for the low income families in our communities for years to come so we can see the enduring benefits.