MN Green Communities

Minnesota Green Communities

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For the compete 2015 Minnesota Overlay to the Green Communities Criteria, click here. For the complete Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, click here. Additional information about Minnesota Housing and the Family Housing Fund’s building standards can be found here.


Minnesota Green Communities is a statewide collaboration of the Family Housing Fund, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and Enterprise Community Partners.  The initiative fosters the creation of healthier, more energy-efficient affordable housing in Minnesota.  Since its inception in 2005, Minnesota Green Communities has proven that green building – whether in new construction or rehabilitation – can promote residential health, reduce environmental impact, and inspire economic growth of a community.

The initiative supports the production of affordable housing with reduced energy costs, use of materials beneficial to the environment, conservation-minded land use planning, and attention to the creation of healthy environments and lifestyles for individuals, children, families, and communities.

Minnesota Green Communities works to create research-based, best practices and cost-effective, design techniques that can be replicated across the industry and drive down the price of green building.

Since 2009, projects funded through Minnesota Housing’s Consolidated RFP have had to meet Minnesota Green Communities standards to:

  • Provide health benefits through better ventilation, less toxic paints and adhesives, and limited use of carpets in areas prone to mold.
  • Save money by cutting utility costs through energy- efficient and water-conserving heating and cooling systems, appliances, and fixtures.
  • Enhance access to jobs, schools, and services by siting homes near public transportation in walkable neighborhoods.
  • Combat sprawl and traffic congestion in growing communities while saving individuals the high costs of car-dependency, especially in developed urban areas.
  • Facilitate a healthy lifestyle through the physical activity that comes from living in walkable neighborhoods.
  • Promote efficient land use by using existing infrastructure in proximity to community services.
  • Protect natural resources, agricultural lands, and natural habitats.


In 2014, Minnesota Green Communities facilitated a stakeholder process to establish green rehabilitation standards for the preservation of affordable housing. Minnesota Green Communities integrated these recommendations into their criteria. The FHFund provided technical assistance for the Minnesota Green Communities Criteria and recommendations to architects, developers, local communities, and government agencies to build healthy housing and improve energy and water efficiency in affordable housing.

Profiles of Demonstration Projects

More Information

For more information check out the report, data, and profiles of the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative produce by the Family Housing Fund’s Affordable Housing Collaboration Project.