Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Green Communities

Sustainable living is not a privilege for the wealthy — all of Los Angeles wants to go green. That's why the city has partnered with Enterprise, one of the nation’s top affordable housing developers, to bring funding and technical assistance to affordable housing developments in Los Angeles that commit to including sustainable practices and technologies in their developments. A part of the national Green Communities Program, a $555 million effort on behalf of Enterprise to green affordable housing across the country, the Los Angeles Green Communities Program will provide $300,000 and expert advice to four projects in the city — Bronson Court in Hollywood and Seven Maples in Westlake developed by LA Housing Partnership, Hyde Park in South LA developed by Enterprise Home Ownership Program, and Rittenhouse Square also in South LA developed by Rittenhouse Limited Partnership.

Combined, these four developments will bring the benefits of green building to more than 200 units of affordable housing in the city. They will feature solar panels and solar water heaters, along with a wide range of sustainability features built into the construction process. It would be a mistake to think that the benefits of these features — including lower water and electricity bills, open space, and better indoor air quality — can only be realized by the rich. We can't allow the dream of owning a house to fall completely out of the reach of middle-income residents, and we must not let the market for sustainable living and sustainable products has be cornered by those who can afford to pay for it. The Green Communities Program will bring the dream of owning a house and the dream of green living together, and shows the way to an affordable and sustainable future for Los Angeles.