November 29, 2018

Combating Climate Change with Resilient Energy Solutions

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  • A new Enterprise blog post looks at how housing stakeholders can combat climate change with resilient energy solutions. The blog post points out that knowing the full effects of climate change, including how it impacts energy supply, makes it possible to create effective strategies to withstand them. The post notes that “we are exploring the inclusion of a Net Zero Energy (NZE) target — one in which the total amount of energy used in a building is equal to the amount of renewable energy the building produces generally through solar or geothermal — in the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria for buildings certified under the Criteria starting in 2020.” To learn more about Net Zero Energy homes, our 2015 Green Communities Criteria, or if you would like to be involved in creating the next generation of the Green Communities Criteria, email us at greencommunities@enterprisecommunity.org.
     
  • The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and Gallup have released a new report, The devaluation of assets in black neighborhoods: The case of residential property, that examines how much money majority-black communities -- where the share of the population is at least 50 percent black -- are losing in the housing market stemming from racial bias. It finds that owner-occupied homes in majority-black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average, amounting to $156 billion in cumulative losses. The report’s findings show that differences in home and neighborhood quality do not fully explain the devaluation of homes in majority-black neighborhoods, and metropolitan areas with greater devaluation of black neighborhoods are more segregated and produce less upward mobility for the black children who grow up in those communities. (Brooking Institute, November 2018)
     
  • A report co-authored by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety reports that in wildfire-prone areas, homes better designed to withstand wildfires do not necessarily increase construction costs. These findings were released days after a major federal report concluded that climate change will cause more deadlier and costlier wildfires and that communities in wildfire-prone areas are not well prepared to address this challenge. Insurers have urged local governments to implement more resilient building codes, a move that is generally opposed by home builders who have concerns over additional construction costs. This new report indicates that wildfire resistant construction methods on the whole cost the same as or less than non-resistant methods. (Bloomberg, November 27)

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