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A Call for More Inclusive Community Planning, from Wonkblog

In a piece for The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, Emily Badger details a story of a town in California, which is instructive to organizations working to provide affordable housing across the country.

Brisbane, California, a town outside of San Francisco, has a chance to make a big change to relieve the area’s housing crisis. A local developer would like to use a former industrial land plot to build a mixed-use project, including public parkland and over 4,000 housing units. The location is also adjacent to a regional rail line that would make commuting easier for workers with jobs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. One of the benefits of building on this currently unused space is that construction would not displace any current residents or negatively impact local traffic. However, some Brisbane officials and residents are resistant to this development for reasons that are all too familiar to affordable housing developers.

This situation reflects the realities of housing policy decisions across the country. Housing policies are generally set at the local level, which in turn provides a great deal of weight to the desires of local residents. HAC has long felt that the solutions to affordable housing start at the local level, and building local capacity should be a priority in any community development effort. In her piece, Badger argues that communities should be more inclusive in how they define “local.” Badger believes that decision making on a community level should also include commuters who spend their days in town, working, going to school, or spending money, but don’t technically live there. This would create a more inclusive community where all of the stakeholders have a say in local policy. However, she submits that local control of housing policy is a tradition that is unlikely to change in American communities.

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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

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Lending

Certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury Department, the Housing Assistance Council has offered low-cost rural housing development loans for over 40 years.

HAC makes short-term loans at below market interest rates to local nonprofits, for profits and government entities developing affordable housing for low-income, rural residents. HAC’s loans enable borrowers to acquire land, pay architectural and environmental fees and cover other costs that arise before construction loans are available. HAC balances careful underwriting and meaningful collateral with flexibility and an understanding that a rural community’s best potential housing developer may begin without significant housing development experience. HAC loan funds serve various purposes:

Loans from these funds are used for a wide variety of housing development purposes, for all types of affordable and mixed income housing projects, and for both rental and ownership units.

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AERIS Rated

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