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Enterprise Green Communities Criteria

The First 20 - You're Invited to Lead

You have the opportunity to be among the first 20 project teams that step up to plan and design your developments to the 2020 Green Communities Criteria.

We’re calling this group The First 20 – and we’re excited to elevate your commitment to advancing equity through healthy, efficient and environmentally responsive homes and communities.

As a member of The First 20 cohort, you’ll represent a cross-section of the 2020 criteria’s early adopters. Opportunities include:

  • Peer learning and engagement
  • Access to field experts
  • Amplification of your projects’ key milestones and progress

Submit your projects’ Prebuild applications to be part of The First 20! Questions? Contact Shelby O’Neill.

As of October 15, 2020, all new Prebuild applications
must be submitted with the 2020 Criteria.

Enterprise Green Communities, the standard for sustainable futures, is the nation’s only national green building program designed explicitly for green affordable housing construction.

Green building practices lead to healthy, efficient and environmentally responsible affordable homes. They promote equitable development by ensuring residents have a voice in designing their homes and creating communities connected to transportation, quality food and critical services.

Today, 27 states and Washington D.C. require that affordable housing developments receiving public funds comply with the Green Communities Criteria. This year alone, practitioners will use the criteria to create or preserve more than 200 green affordable housing developments.

The 2020 Green Communities Criteria is the latest version of the guidelines, first introduced in 2005. Updates include a Path to Zero Energy, new water-quality standards, and a new approach to affordable housing in rural areas, tribal communities and small towns. Join us on this journey as we adapt to a changing climate, promote health and well-being and build a more equitable future.

Explore the Criteria

2015 Criteria     2011 Criteria

Certification to the Green Communities Criteria

Certification Eligibility and Requirements     Certification Process at a Glance

Ready to Certify?

Levels of Certification

The 2020 criteria offer two levels of certification.

  • Enterprise Green Communities Certification demonstrates a holistic approach to green affordable housing.
  • Enterprise Green Communities Certification Plus recognizes developments making the greatest strides on the Path to Zero Energy 

Log on to the Certification Portal Today

  • Create a new certification application for your project or update an existing one
  • Check the status of all of your projects’ reviews
  • Add team members so they can view or edit the applications and receive review feedback
  • See the Certification Portal FAQs for more tips on maximizing your portal experience
Interested in demonstrating that your property is built to the Green Communities Criteria? Certify your project today.
Interested in contacting a Green Communities TA Provider, to assist with your project? Reach out to an expert now.
Interested in research on the impacts of properties built to the Green Communities Criteria? Explore these reports.

Green Building Resources

WELL Building Institute

Through an exciting new partnership with the International WELL Building Institute (IBI), affordable housing that is Enterprise Green Communities-certified will also earn WELL Certification.


Our Impact

Green Infographic

Green Impact Map
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In the News
Blog Post

2020 Green Communities Criteria Promote Water Equity

Our lives revolve around water. From our morning coffee to our children’s evening baths and so much in between, water is essential. Yet in the United States, we generally don’t give much thought to our water – in part, because drinking water quality is regulated tightly and, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, remarkably safe.
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