Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced that the Virginia Housing Development Authority recently won a national affordable housing award for its Green Building Incentive Program.
The National Council of State Housing Agencies presented VHDA with the award for Program Excellence during the council’s recent 2008 annual conference & tradeshow. VHDA’s Green Building Incentive Program won in the newly created “Going Green” category.
“This is a well-deserved award for a program that in just one year has more than doubled the percentage of developers building environmentally friendly affordable apartments,” Governor Kaine said. “I look forward to unveiling even more environment and energy initiatives in the coming weeks.”
VHDA’s Green Building Incentive Program encourages developers of affordable apartments to build more environmentally friendly housing through the authority’s tax credit program and Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities program allocations.
“We’re pleased that VHDA’s Green Building Incentive Program won this national award,” said VHDA Executive Director Susan F. Dewey. “This initiative combines our affordable housing mission with the benefits of green building, which include better energy efficiency and lower environmental impacts.”
By creating an EarthCraft HouseTM green building category for the tax credit program and doubling the points awarded for this category, VHDA helped increase the percentage of Virginia developers building green, affordable apartments from 40% in 2007 to 92% in 2008. More than 3,600 green housing units have been added to Virginia’s stock of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income citizens since the EarthCraft certification point category was added.
In addition, VHDA has encouraged the use of green building techniques in its Single Family SPARC program. The SPARC program allows local governments, housing authorities, and both for-profit and non-profit developers to apply for resources that help them address the critical housing challenges facing their communities.
To qualify for bonus points in the competitive SPARC program, affordable home builders must verify that homes will meet EarthCraft, Energy Star or Enterprise Foundation Green Communities green builder certification.
Finally, VHDA increased the SPARC bonus points awarded to organizations using green building techniques in newly constructed or rehabilitated properties from 10 to 25 points. This change helped increase the number of organizations incorporating green building as part of their SPARC proposals from five in 2005 to 13 in 2007.
Now in its 24th year, the mission of NCSHA’s awards program is to share information about the most successful housing programs, identify industry best practices, recognize exemplary housing finance agency efforts, and encourage HFA innovation. The winning programs were judged on originality, innovation, a proven track record in the marketplace, cost/benefit ratio and measurable benefits provided to targeted customers.
NCSHA is a national, nonprofit organization created by the nation’s state HFAs to assist them in increasing housing opportunities for lower income and underserved people through the financing, development and preservation of affordable housing.
VHDA is Virginia’s mortgage finance agency. Created in 1972 by the Virginia General Assembly, its mission is to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing. It does so by providing consumers with low-interest rate loans to purchase or renovate homes. VHDA also lends money to developers for the development, rehabilitation and renovation of affordable apartments.