Landmark Green Affordable Policy Advances in Congress

Washington, DC (January 2008)- The House of Representatives passed a landmark green affordable housing bill by a wide bipartisan margin. The “HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007” (H.R. 3524) provides $800 million annually from 2008-2013 for mixed-income communities that incorporate Green Communities Criteria. This is the first time the House has passed a bill authorizing holistic environmental principles in a major housing program. View segments of the floor debate.

The bill requires new HOPE VI revitalization projects to meet the Green Communities Criteria for residential construction. It also gives more points in the HOPE VI selection process for greater compliance with Green Communities or other green rating systems chosen by the Secretary of HUD. For non-residential buildings, the bill requires the HUD Secretary to choose an appropriate green rating system. The bill provides funding for technical assistance to ensure developments can meet the green requirements cost effectively.
The green building provisions in the bill were championed by House HUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Olver (D-MA). A number of leading House members spoke strongly in favor of the Green Communities Criteria on the House floor during the vote. A remarkably broad-based coalition of governors, mayors, trade associations, environmental organizations, public health groups, affordable housing advocates and green building leaders actively advocated for the green provisions in the bill (support letter). Enterprise thanks all these partners for their efforts.
The vote marks a major victory for all advocates for healthier, more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable homes for low-income people. The next step is the Senate, where the coalition is building strong bipartisan support.
Related Resources:
HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 3524)
Green Communities
CSPAN coverage of HOPE VI Debate and Vote
Energy Efficient and Healthy Hope VI Coalition Letter