Minnesota Green Communities Initiative: How Green and Healthy Became the Standard for Affordable Housing in Minnesota
Affordable Housing Collaboration in Minnesota: Outcomes and Lessons Learned Series
This program report describes how the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative began, evolved, and produced systems change to support green affordable housing. Because of the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative, affordable housing construction and rehabilitation financed through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency promotes resident health, brings economic benefit to residents and communities, and supports environmental health.
Family Housing Fund and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) collaborated with Enterprise Community Partners to establish the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative in order to promote green affordable housing in three ways: building standards and technical assistance, capital investment, and policy advancement.
Through the efforts of the Minnesota Green Communities Initiative, 1,202 affordable housing units received over $1 million for green rehabilitation. As of 2012, 13,167 additional green units across Minnesota have been funded due to the Consolidated Request for Proposals, the application process for all developers seeking subsidy.
The success of this initiative proves it is possible to create statewide policy change within just a few years. Furthermore, connecting green building and affordable housing produces health, economic, and environmental benefits for entire communities.