COLUMBIA, Md., April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Right in time for Earth Day, Enterprise Green Communities (Enterprise) has awarded $150,000 to owners of affordable housing properties for resident engagement outreach programs. The programs will provide residents with practical and sustainable practices for everyday usage while educating them on methods to extend the benefits of their green homes. Enterprise, through a Home Depot Foundation grant, awarded six organizations $25,000 each to develop tools and tactics to teach the entire building community best practices to properly operate and maintain their green building.
"In order to maximize the health, cost and environmental benefits of a green home, residents, and the onsite maintenance and operations staff must pay special attention to how they interact with the building," said Dana Bourland, vice president, Enterprise Green Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners. "We congratulate these six grantees on their commitment to help engage the behavior of those who interact with their properties since it is through these efforts that the health improvements of the residents, the surrounding community and ultimately the planet can be realized."
The six winning organizations are Abode Communities in Los Angeles; Aeon in Minneapolis; Eden Housing in Hayworth, Calif.; Farmworker Housing Development Organization in Woodburn, Ore.; Foundation Communities in Austin, Texas; and Selfhelp Community Services in New York.
"With this grant from Enterprise and the Home Depot Foundation, Abode Communities will be able to take its commitment to building and managing sustainably-designed, energy efficient homes for low-income families one step further," said Robin Hughes, president and CEO of Abode Communities. "Our Green Living Youth Program will educate and empower the teen residents at Ivy Terrace, with the expectation that they will share information and hands-on activities with their own families and peers, ultimately increasing the entire community's capacity for green living and resource conservation."
Each of the winning organizations has a strong track record of maintaining green, affordable homes for low-income residents, and has previously used the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria to help achieve those efforts. The owners have created a comprehensive engagement program for their residents geared towards changing behavior that will further enhance energy and water consumption savings in the building. The programs range from supporting educational efforts on recent retrofit upgrades to continuing outreach activities for senior residents. Each program is unique to the property and to the lifestyle patterns of the residents. Enterprise will share outcomes from the six organizations over the next year.
Enterprise provides free resident engagement tools online that are customizable and easily adaptable to a particular development. The tools include the Resident Engagement Training in a Box and Resident Engagement Cards. Also available are sustainability training grants to help implement these tools with residents and operations and maintenance staff.
Enterprise Green Communities provides funds and expertise to enable developers to build and rehabilitate homes so the properties are healthier, more energy efficient and better for the environment - without sacrificing affordability. In late 2009, Enterprise launched the next generation of Enterprise Green Communities with a national call to action to strive to make all affordable housing green by 2020.
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For nearly 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 280,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.
SOURCE Enterprise Community Partners