Buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of emissions globally, giving us the power to slow the pace of climate change through thoughtful building design, construction and operation.

Twenty years ago, we launched the nation’s only green building program created with and for the affordable housing sector. Today, ours is the most widely adopted criteria in the sector with nearly 2,300 certified affordable housing units nationwide and 32 states – including cities such as New York City and Washington, D.C. – requiring or incentivizing those looking to secure funding to adopt our criteria.

Building Green is just one pillar of our comprehensive response to climate change. Our Building Resilient Futures team is also leading the industry in Climate Risk Reduction and Equitable Decarbonization.

Our Impact

For over 20 years, our Green Communities have created healthy, sustainable and affordable homes for over 1 million people.



affordable housing developments nationwide have met Green Communities certification to date.


26000 tons

of CO2 emissions prevented by our Green Communities-certified homes.


$131 Million

saved in water and energy costs by our Green Communities-certified homes.

In addition to our industry-leading standards, we provide grants and technical assistance to advance high-quality affordable housing development, partner with researchers to improve the health and quality of indoor environments, and engage federal, state and local leaders on polices that further green affordable housing development.

Many of those living in areas most vulnerable to climate change are communities of color, which is why we’re committed to advancing racial equity while promoting economic and environmental justice. All of our capital tools, technical assistance, programs and policy solutions are designed as a response to the legacy of systematic racism in housing and the increasing racial wealth gap in America.

Green Communities Criteria

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Our cost-effective, above-code green building program includes integrative design, site considerations, water, energy, healthy building, operations/maintenance and resident engagement. It is applicable for new construction, substantial and moderate rehabilitation, historic properties and adaptive reuse across both multifamily and single-family affordable housing projects.

In partnership with the International Well Building Institute and their WELL Building Standard, we’ve leveraged the best of these impactful programs, and created a path for affordable housing developments in the United States to create best-in-class healthy, efficient and environmentally responsible homes. Projects that achieve certification with the 2020 Criteria are recognized as certified under both Enterprise Green Communities and the WELL Building Standard.

Benefits of Our Approach

  • Provides strategies to help developments move closer to zero emissions
  • Outlines resilience criteria that helps better prepare homes to withstand local climate hazards
  • Integrates healthy living practices, from ventilation to healing-centered design
  • Delivers a dual certification with the WELL Building Standard
  • Includes water standards that promote efficiency and protect against lead poisoning
  • Uses an integrative design approach to establish collective priorities, giving residents a voice in the process
  • Promotes economic and environmental justice

Learn more about our criteria and eligibility requirements.

Ready to Get Started?

We are passionate about turning our best practices into standard practices and are here to support you on this journey. To make things easy, we’ve created a certification portal with everything you need to complete your application.

In addition to a comprehensive overview of our application process, the portal has customizable templates, tools and calculators for your green building certification submittal. We also host regular office hours to answer your certification questions.

Advancing Green Affordable Housing Development

Three people talking at a construction site

In addition to our industry-leading standards, we partner with researchers and government organizations to advance the field of green affordable housing development.

Our practice-informed guidance leverages more than four decades of successful advocacy at all levels of government and experience executing programs to create actionable policies. At the national level, we work with affordable housing institutions including HUD, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to associate more favorable financial incentives for housing that achieves green building standards.

Our team is always working to deepen our understanding of how green building, policies and practices can lead to more equitable development. Throughout our history we have partnered with a variety of leading institutions on research projects designed to advance the field, for example, “Studying Optimal Ventilation for Environmental Indoor Air Quality” with the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Looking to Implement a Green Program in Your State?

More than 30 states currently include Green Communities Criteria as part of their Qualified Action Plans for the distribution of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits – and many more include some level of green and/or energy incentive(s). We provide guidance on best practices to housing finance agencies and other organizations to help continually move the needle on green building and work nationwide with coalition partners to advance green building across the country.  Learn more about the certification offerings in your state’s QAP.

Enterprise Green Communities in LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plans shaded on the map of the United States

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you advance green building for affordable housing in your area.

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Start Your Certification
We created a certification portal with a comprehensive overview of our application process, eligibility requirements, customizable templates, tools and more. Start your submittal today.
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Learn more about how we can help you advance green building for affordable housing in your area.


Meet Our Team