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Rural Voices: Innovation in Building Technology for Affordable Rural Housing

Building decent, affordable housing for the lowest-income rural Americans requires creativity – in financing, design, planning, and even in administering organizations. This issue of Rural Voices is meant to provide helpful examples for the field, and we encourage readers to share other innovations as well.

FEATURES

Small Size, Big Results: Tiny Houses in Hale County, Alabama
by Pam Dorr

Tiny homes, from 400 to 850 square feet, can provide decent, affordable homes for rural Americans with very low incomes, while blending beautifully into existing communities.

Cargo Containers Become Simple, Decent, Affordable and Energy-Efficient Homes…It’s Happening in Kentucky
by Mary Shearer

Abandoned cargo containers are converted to highly energy-efficient, simple homes for extremely low-income Kentuckians.

Kicking and Screaming All the Way to Greater Energy Efficiency
by Patrick Shiflea

After hesitating to adopt new construction techniques and add costs, Alaska CDC staff have concluded increased energy efficiency is worth it for homeowners.

Factory-Built Housing as an Affordable Housing Solution
by Stacey Epperson

Modern manufactured and modular housing options can serve as an affordable alternative to site-built structures.

From Tornado to Sustainable Community in Saint Peter, Minnesota
by Rick Goodemann

After a major disaster, intensive planning and community-wide innovation produced new affordable housing as well as improved electricity and broadband service.

The Basics of Process Improvement for Affordable Housing Organizations
by Josh Crites

New ideas that improve project management can pave the way to an efficient and organized affordable housing process.

View from Washington

Doubling Down in a Time of Uncertainty
by Ellen Lurie Hoffman and Michael Bodaken

As advocates for affordable housing face the uncertainties of a new Administration, it is clear that our work and our partnerships have never been more essential.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

MATERIALS POSTED: Practitioner’s Guide to Meeting Energy Star 3.0 – HVAC Part A.

MATERIALS POSTED: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Contractors Checklist

Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording | Additional Resources

Follow the discussion online #ruralgreen.

Please join us for Practitioner’s Guide to Meeting Energy Star 3.0 – HVAC Part A on 5/20/2015 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

MATERIALS POSTED: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Contractors Checklist

Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording | Additional Resources

Follow the discussion online #ruralgreen.

Please join us for Practitioner’s Guide to Meeting Energy Star 3.0 – HVAC Part A on 5/20/2015 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

All homes permitted after January 1, 2012 seeking ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 rating must meet ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 standards. Verification partners, including HERS raters and Field Inspectors, must complete ENERGY STAR Version 3 Rater Training through an Accredited Training Provider in order to service and/or inspect homes that seek ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 rating. There are two paths to certify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR. The Prescriptive Path is based on a predefined package of improvements, while the Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades. The National Program Requirements define the core energy efficiency specifications for both the Prescriptive and Performance Paths.

Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require completion of four inspection checklists:

  • Heating and Cooling Contractor Checklist,
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Quality Installation Rater Checklist,
  • HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist, and
  • Water Management System Builder Checklist

A quality installs HVAC system promotes improved comfort, indoor air quality, and durability in certified homes. This webinar provides an overview of the HVAC Contractor checklist and its requirements as prescribed the Energy Star and ICCE 2009. Topics covered will include:

  • ACCA Manuals J, S, and D
  • HVAC System Contractor Checklist

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Additional Resources
  1. Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist Guidebook (.pdf)
  2. ACCA Manuals J, S, and D
  3. www.resnet.us/energystar
  4. www.energystar.gov
  5. www.epa.gov/watersense
  6. www.usgbc.org
  7. greenhomeguide.com/program/leed-for-homes
  8. youtu.be/czlCDo00Scs

Funded by: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development

Conducting Homeless Counts on Native American Lands – Webinar

To have an event posted on our calendar*, please e-mail Dan Stern. Or send event description or brochure to:

Housing Assistance Council
Attn: Dan Stern
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 606
Washington, DC 20005

Or fax to (202) 347-3441
Attn: Dan Stern

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*Calendar Posting Guidelines:

HAC’s calendar posts announcements about periodic conferences, training sessions, audioconferences, and the like. Topics must be relevant to professionals in the rural housing and community development arena. HAC reserves the right to accept or decline any request to post an item. We do not include sessions provided by entities (for-profit or nonprofit) that offer numerous regularly scheduled training events; links to such entities are provided below.

Community Connections
IPED

HUD Calendar
NeighborWorks
Novogradac and Compan

Back to Trainings

Conducting Homeless Counts on Native American Lands

Date: March 13, 2012
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern
Registration: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=9kowvf25jgfy

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is pleased to invite you to a webinar highlighting its recent publication Conducting Homeless Counts on Native American Lands: A Toolkit. It is often difficult to address homelessness on Native American lands, due to the challenge in quantifying the number of actual homeless individuals living therein. While there is ‘literal’ homelessness on Native American lands, many Native Americans also live in extremely crowded conditions with family and relatives which is another, less visible, form of homelessness. Places with small, spread-out populations, like most Native American lands, typically have few shelters or service providers forcing homeless individuals to rely on strong kinship networks to find a place to stay. Issues surrounding tribal mistrust of the federal government, a lack of understanding of tribal sovereignty and diversity among Indian nations by outside entities, cultural competencies, and legal complexities associated with tribal lands create additional challenges to conducting an accurate count.

Based upon past research as well as interviews with key stakeholders in the field, the webinar will provide insights on how to conduct outreach, plan homeless surveys, partner with other researchers and organizations, and secure funding.

For more information, please email Eric Oberdorfer at eric@ruralhome.org.

Register Now!

Rural Housing Summit 2012 – New Visions for a New Landscape

To have an event posted on our calendar*, please e-mail Dan Stern. Or send event description or brochure to:

Housing Assistance Council
Attn: Dan Stern
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 606
Washington, DC 20005

Or fax to (202) 347-3441
Attn: Dan Stern

[addthis2][/addthis2]

*Calendar Posting Guidelines:

HAC’s calendar posts announcements about periodic conferences, training sessions, audioconferences, and the like. Topics must be relevant to professionals in the rural housing and community development arena. HAC reserves the right to accept or decline any request to post an item. We do not include sessions provided by entities (for-profit or nonprofit) that offer numerous regularly scheduled training events; links to such entities are provided below.

Community Connections
IPED

HUD Calendar
NeighborWorks
Novogradac and Compan

Back to Trainings

Rural Housing Summit 2012 – New Visions for a New Landscape

Start Date: October 25, 2012
End Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Pacific Grove, CA
Registration: https://rhs2012.eventbrite.com/

The Rural Housing Summit brings together housing professionals and advocates to examine key policy and program issues and develop a strategic action plan to improve the living conditions of low-income and rural Californians during the upcoming year and beyond.

Green Building Webinar

To have an event posted on our calendar*, please e-mail Dan Stern. Or send event description or brochure to:

Housing Assistance Council
Attn: Dan Stern
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 606
Washington, DC 20005

Or fax to (202) 347-3441
Attn: Dan Stern

[addthis2][/addthis2]

*Calendar Posting Guidelines:

HAC’s calendar posts announcements about periodic conferences, training sessions, audioconferences, and the like. Topics must be relevant to professionals in the rural housing and community development arena. HAC reserves the right to accept or decline any request to post an item. We do not include sessions provided by entities (for-profit or nonprofit) that offer numerous regularly scheduled training events; links to such entities are provided below.

Community Connections
IPED

HUD Calendar
NeighborWorks
Novogradac and Compan

Back to Trainings

Green Building Webinar

Date: September 19, 2012
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern
Registration: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/r0cx8u62e7ja

Adding ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ or ‘active/passive energy efficient’ techniques to development planning can take many forms to meet specific goals, particularly the affordability of up-front and long-term costs. This webinar will provide a brief overview of both the 184 and 502 programs followed by examples of how each program can be effectively utilized to build sustainable green housing (to include discussion on building activities on Native American Lands). Participants will gain from in-depth discussion on various types of construction, from conventional to manufactured, as well as, those being used by tribal organizations across the country such as straw bale, hogans, and advanced framing methods to meet green guidelines developed by each individual tribe for their specific locality. This webinar will also provide a brief overview of the latest Energy Star and Water Sense compliance standards.

Register Now!

Events

CIRD: Models and Practices for Meaningful Community Engagement

Eastern Time

Description

What does meaningful community engagement work look like for your rural community? In this webinar you will have a chance to share your best engagement strategies and learn new ways to strengthen your community engaged design work. We’ll also talk about engagement in the context of COVID-19, and building greater inclusivity with community members whose identities differ from our own. This webinar will be facilitated by Jamie Horter, a Nebraska-based rural artist working in community engaged art.

Register

Audience

Rural communities including town councils, economic development groups, municipalities, designers, community-based organizations, and other community development practitioners interested in design methods for community engagement.

Prior Knowledge

None required.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about 3 different models for planning your community engaged design work
  2. Share practices for more inclusive and accessible participation, including creative virtual hosting options and outreach across diverse identities
  3. Create a shared resource from your best engagement practices

Speakers

Jamie Horter
Art for Rural People

Jamie Horter is a rural advocate, small town artist, and community coach based out of Lyons, NE (pop. 850). She works primarily in rural places and believes in the power of art to shape and enhance quality of life in rural communities. She created her first public work at the age of 10 when she was commissioned to paint a mural in her hometown school. Then and now, her works are community centered, often engaging rural citizens in the design process as co-creators. Jamie uses art to create opportunities for everyday citizens to become more engaged in the conversations and decisions impacting their communities. Her work brings community members into discussions and actions around citizen-led community development.

Additional Information

This webinar will be presented via Microsoft Teams.  For technical information please visit https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingMicrosoftTeams/.

View HAC’s General Training Terms and Conditions at https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingWebinarTermsAndConditions/.

HAC Training - Construction Oriented

“Build Smart” Webinar Series Part 1: Green Building Case Studies

Recording

Materials

PowerPoint Presentation | Green Pyramid | St. John’s Housing Partnership Green Building Summary | Affordable Housing Low-Cost Green Items | Florida Green Building Coalition Green Checklist | Webinar Transcript

Description

This webinar, the first in a series designed to share innovative solutions to affordable housing developers dealing with escalating prices and implementing additional regulations, will kick off the series to address ‘Green Building’ design. As we acknowledge the outcome benefits the environment and occupants, implementing green building design costs can be challenging to the non-profit organization’s budget and goal to produce affordably-priced housing.   This can be even more difficult in rural areas where materials and resources may not be readily available.  Presenters will showcase several projects that are successfully implementing Green Building practices into their affordable housing developments and share their best practices for green building on a budget and constructing net zero energy homes for low-income buyers, that can be replicated by all affordable housing developers to reduce costs.

Register

Audience

This webinar is intended for non-profit housing developers, small affordable housing builders, Tribal entities, rural government entities

Prior Knowledge

Basic knowledge and awareness of Construction/ Green Building.

Learning Objectives

This webinar series will provide affordable housing developers with the information needed to successfully and financially implement green building design into their construction program.

  1. Learn the basics of Green Building design.
  2. Discover funding mechanisms and resources used in implementation of   Green Building design.

Learn from mistakes and successes of past green building projects.

Speakers

Bill Lazar
St. Johns Housing Partnership

Bill Lazar is the Executive Director of St. Johns Housing Partnership and a licensed residential contractor. For 32 years, he has worked with affordable housing programs in NE Florida. The Partnership provides a variety of housing services from home repairs and new construction (rental and homeownership) to credit counseling and foreclosure prevention. The SJHP owns and manages 65 scattered site rental properties in addition to owning 2 USDA multi-family properties for seniors. He has been a board member with the St Johns Builders Council for over 22 years and is a strong advocate for green building and high school and vocational trades programs.

Most recently he was recognized as Builder of the Year by the St Johns Builders Council.

Mr. Larzar will present on Case study Name of Project:  Green Building on a Budget

 

Michael Morina
Florida Home Partnership

Michael (Mike) Morina attended the College of William and Mary, where he earned a B.A. in Economics. He also earned a master’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in City Planning.  Mr. Morina began his professional career as a research analyst for the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

After spending 12 years in commercial real estate development, he founded the Alliance for Affordable Housing, a 501 c (3) corporation that developed master-planned subdivisions, built new homes, and processed first time homebuyer loans throughout the greater Tampa Bay area to include the Counties of Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota.

Mr. Morina brings over 35 years of experience in all facets of affordable housing and was hired as the executive director of FHP on April 2, 2018.

Mr. Morina will present Case Study 2. Name of Project: Net Zero Energy Homes for Low-income Buyers”

 

Additional Information

This webinar will be presented via Microsoft Teams.  For technical information please visit https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingMicrosoftTeams/.

View HAC’s General Training Terms and Conditions at https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingWebinarTermsAndConditions/.

HAC Training - Construction Oriented

WaterSense Labeled Homes Version 2.0

Recording

Materials

PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Transcript

Description

The WaterSense Labeled Homes program offers a building science approach on water efficiency within single and multi-family homes.

Green building has grown from a niche market to a savvy business strategy. WaterSense labeled homes meet consumers’ demand for a whole-house solution to help them save water, energy, and money while maintaining a high level of performance. Compared to a typical home, on average, a WaterSense labeled home can save a family 50,000 gallons of water a year or more.

This webinar will provide the specifics of how WaterSense labeled homes must achieve at least 30 percent more water efficiency than typical new construction. Under the Homes Certification System, they are verified and certified to meet EPA’s Mandatory Checklist and achieve EPA’s water efficiency criteria. We will discuss the program’s new flexibilities and participation by new stakeholder groups such as Home Certification Organizations (HCO) which uses its own WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM) to measure water efficiency. We will also discuss the new flexibilities in the technical requirements expanding from options of indoor water efficiency to regionally appropriate outdoor water efficient systems and practices and how when paired with the mandatory checklist, the requirements of the WACM ensure that a WaterSense labeled home is both water-efficient, and high-performing.

Audience

This webinar is intended for builders, designers and any others interested in increasing water efficiency within the residential sector.

Prior Knowledge

Understanding of green building practices and the process of certification may be useful but not necessary.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning Objective 1: Learn about the added flexibility in certification
  • Learning Objective 2: Understand Mandatory requirements
  • Learning Objective 3: Identify opportunities for regional differentiation and national flexibility.
  • Learning Objective 4: Learn about best practices and how they can impact water savings.

Speakers

Olga M. Cano

Olga M. Cano
Environmental Engineer in the Homes Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense® Program

Additional Information

This webinar will be presented via Microsoft Teams.  For technical information please visit https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingMicrosoftTeams/.

View HAC’s General Training Terms and Conditions at https://ruralhome.microsoftcrmportals.com/TrainingWebinarTermsAndConditions/.

Strategies for Achieving Energy Efficient, Affordable Housing

Watch the Webinar Recording

Additional Materials

PowerPoint Presentation Webinar Transcript

According to the Energy Information Administration, nearly one-third of households experience some type of energy insecurity over the course of a year. Energy insecurity describes the interplay of the physical conditions of housing, household energy expenditures and energy-related coping strategies. It disproportionately impacts low-income households as they pay higher proportions of their income to electric and gas bills and will often set thermostats to unsafe levels to reduce energy costs.

This is why energy efficient construction practices are so important for providing safe, comfortable and cost-effective housing options. Come to this webinar to gain insight into energy efficient construction practices, including how to maximize energy efficiency while keeping costs in check. Learn the role of Home Energy Raters in the design and construction process and see the specifications for homes that are achieving varying levels of energy efficiency. Finally, you will see what it takes to achieve a net-zero home—one that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.

 

 

Speakers

Ryan MeresRyan Meres

Program Director
RESNET