COLUMBIA, Md., March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Enterprise joins Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Lewis (D-GA) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) in support of legislation to "green" affordable housing by promoting energy efficiency, resource conservation and sustainable development in low-income communities across the country. More than 2.5 million families in America live in substandard housing. Nearly 17 percent of a low-income family's earnings are consumed by energy costs. And environmental challenges take a disproportionate toll on limited- income families -- both asthma rates and blood lead levels are significantly higher among low-income children. Building green addresses a host of pressing problems facing many families and communities, including run-down and unhealthy housing, rising transportation and energy costs, and sprawling, unsustainable development. This legislation, the High Performance Buildings Act of 2007, thoughtfully builds on lessons Enterprise has learned through its national Green Communities initiative, a $555 million commitment to build more than 8,500 environmentally responsive, affordable homes. This is the nation's largest, most ambitious initiative focused on leveraging private capital investments to significantly increase the production of green affordable housing across the country. To date, only two years into the five-year initiative, Enterprise has helped to finance more than 7,000 green affordable homes. Enterprise strongly supports the bill's emphasis on ensuring that community development organizations have the resources and expertise necessary to successfully incorporate green elements into their affordable housing developments. "Enterprise is working to change the way Americans think about, design, locate and build homes affordable to low-income families," said Doris Koo, Enterprise's president and chief executive officer. "This legislation makes strides in meeting the needs of low-income families, who stand to benefit the most from housing that is healthy, energy-efficient and located near schools, jobs and transportation. We look forward to working with members of Congress and our colleagues in the housing and sustainable development fields to pass this critical bill." In addition to Enterprise, the High Performance Buildings Act is endorsed by the American Public Health Association, Global Green USA, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the National Center for Healthy Housing and the National Housing Conference. Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than two decades, Enterprise has pioneered neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $7 billion in equity, grants and loans and is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit http://www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity, and to meet some of the half a million people we have helped.