Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

Sign up now to attend the 2022 Affordable Housing Summit: Building Net-Positives in Climate, Equity, and Health, from 8 am to 2 pm PT on June 14th and 15th. This event will highlight actionable steps to take in each of these areas with a discussion of topics such as carbon-positive affordable housing, universal design and disability-forward principles, and avoiding embodied injustices and toxicity in materials. Email affordablehousing@living-future.org with any questions or for more details.

Everyone, regardless of economic status, should have access to housing that is healthy, safe, and affordable. Living Buildings can be accessible to all. We are working with affordable housing developers that are using the Living Building Challenge as a framework to build homes that have no energy bills, are free from toxic materials, and are truly sustainable for future generations. Read more about our pilot projects and our available resources below.

Affordable Housing Framework

THE LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE FRAMEWORK FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING HAS BEEN UPDATED (AUGUST 2019).

The Living Building Challenge Framework for Affordable Housing outlines building strategies for multi-family affordable housing projects. We worked with a number of partners to identify how to overcome social, regulatory and financial barriers for applying deep green technologies to affordable housing.

The 2014 Framework is also still available for download below.

materials list for affordable housing

UPDATED IN DECEMBER 2021! This list has been developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) to help affordable housing project teams specify Red List Free products. The products in this list have been vetted by ILFI either though a Declare label or the documentation required under the Living Building Challenge Materials and Health + Happiness Petals for Red List ingredients, CDPH compliance, and FSC certification. These attributes are highlighted in blue in the chart. Information is also provided on whether products contribute to points earned under Enterprise Green Communities Criteria 6.4: Healthier Material Selection.

Affordable Housing Toolkit

The Living Building Challenge Framework for Affordable Housing outlines building strategies for multi-family affordable housing projects. We worked with a number of partners to identify how to overcome social, regulatory and financial barriers for applying deep green technologies to affordable housing.

Resources

Guide for Greener QAPS

The Institute has spent years forming relationships with state housing finance agencies around the country in order to add sustainability features and healthy materials incentives to each state’s Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs). This guide summarizes the lessons learned into nine steps, and illustrates how others might join in the Institute’s efforts by advocating to their own state’s housing finance agency to provide financial incentives for Living Affordable Housing.

Forest stewardship council (FSC) Sourcing guide

The FSC Sourcing Guidance document provides an overview of the Forest Stewardship Council, describes the Living Building Challenge requirements for wood, and provides links to various online resources to aid Affordable Housing Project teams in their search for FSC wood.

Forest Stewardship council (FSC) Supplier Database

FSC, in conjunction with the Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) has created a new supplier database that helps project teams search for specific products by region, providing supplier contact information and predicted turn-around times.

Living Product Manufacturers Committed to Equitable Investment

The manufacturers below have achieved the Equitable Investment Imperative of the Living Product Challenge, indicating that they would be willing to provide their certified products at price parity for affordable housing projects.

  • Mohawk
  • Superior Essex
  • Owens Corning
  • Tarkett
  • Shannon Specialty Floors
  • Industrial Louvers
  • HMTX Industries (Metroflor Corporation)
  • Armstrong World Industries
  • Plant Solutions
  • Humanscale

Specification Resources

ILFI has drafted sample specifications for project teams to reference when including the Materials Petal and Health & Happiness Petal requirements in their Construction Documents.

Affordable Housing Solar Investment Tax Credit

The federal government’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit (RETC) program includes a variety of incentives to subsidize renewable energy technologies. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) portions of this program provide a mechanism to help finance solar energy systems used to provide electricity or solar hot water.

Affordable housing online curriculum

Affordable Housing case studies

We have made available three Case Studies detailing Affordable Housing projects. They are in PDF form below, available for download.