August 12, 2019

Together, Forging a Pathway to Zero Through the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria

Woman and man sitting with "2020 Green Criteria Public Comment" written above their heads

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It’s been an amazing journey so far. We’ve met with residents, consulted developers, collaborated with environmental justice advocates and engaged policymakers.

We’ve pored over the countless stories and data we gathered. We’ve learned from the experts and put forth our best ideas and strategies. 

Now, we want to hear from you. 

Today, Enterprise opens its public comment period on the 2020 Green Communities Criteria. The newly updated criteria will mark the fifth generation of the ground-breaking environmental standards for affordable homes that Enterprise created 15 years ago, in the face of skeptics who said homes couldn’t be green and affordable. 

What's New for Enterprise Green Communities Criteria in 2020

Maintaining the same eight categories, the 2020 Green Communities Criteria is looking at new ways to explore how the criteria can contribute to: 

  • Improving resident health 
  • Strengthening homes resilience 
  • Managing developers’ upfront costs while improving building performance 
  • Promoting equitable outcomes for residents and neighborhoods through features and services such as parks, transit, healing centric design and broadband internet 

An important step forward in the 2020 Criteria is transitioning from a strict focus on energy efficiency to a broader perspective of carbon neutrality – this is the pathway to zero. 

The 15-Year Evolution of the Criteria

Over the past 15 years, Enterprise has regularly updated the Green Communities Criteria – responding to technology advances; evaluation outcomes; and environmental, industry and policy trends.

The updates, which have reflected input from developers and policymakers on specific criterion, also provide Green Communities staff and partners the ability to strengthen or lessen various criterion categories while continuing to integrate critical recommendations for affordable homes and communities.  

Throughout the evolution of the Green Communities Criteria, Enterprise has relied on the following guiding principles: 

  • Achievable for all affordable housing development types, including new construction, substantial and moderate rehab, single family, and low- to high-rise multifamily 
  • Cost-effective and proven green development approaches 
  • Designed to deliver significant health, economic and environmental benefits 
  • Best-in-class and technically sound and rigorous performance standards  
  • Measurable and verifiable through paper or field review 

Where you live affects the life you can have, and by bringing toget​her the right expertise and know-how to make well-designed homes affordable, we can make a difference. With your time and input, we will continue to strengthen and broaden our commitment to building green, healthy homes in equitable, thriving communities. 

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