Thanks Josh, this is great info. we are taking baby steps, but are plugging through, we had our first formal activity after the 4 month cleanup by 24 middle and high schoolers in Nov, where we had some high schoolers coach elementary school children on planting 6 evergreen trees. The tools you pointed to definitely come in handy.
What is the lowest HERS Index that you know of for a real (not planned) multifamily residence? What type of home is it (duplex, townhouse, garden, low-rise), where is it located, and what are the significant features that contributed to its high-performance (envelope design, fenestraiton, construction materials, passive/active features, appliances, lighting, control strategies, etc.?) Roughly what square footage and exposures also?
I'm looking for indices that are taken PRIOR to the benefits of wind or solar energy (PV or thermal), but INCLUDING Geothermal HVAC if necessary. Thank you for your insights!
______________________________ William M. Carson, LEED AP BD+C VP Operations Strategy & Director of Sustainability McCormack Baron Salazar
St. Louis, MO 63101
Many in the affordable housing community will be acutely aware of last year’s “Building ‘Taj Mahals’ with Taxpayer Money*”, a scathing critique leveled at the rising cost of low-income housing tax-credit projects. Posted July 21, 2011 in the Voice of San Diego, the article contends that increasingly competitive requirements for amenities, green features, and site location have driven the cost of developing affordable housing to be more than double that of private, market-rate developments (At least, such seems to be the case in California).
The basic justification for any sort of taxation in a democracy is that taxes levied will be used for the general public benefit. Ranging from military defense and sewer systems to schools and vaccinations, these publicly funded goods and services improve life for the aggregate. Self-interested Keynesian economics dictate that without the intervention of public policy, many services critical for the success of large-scale economies would remain unfunded by the private sector.
And so we arrive at the questions that beg to be asked: is the low-income housing tax credit program a just use of tax-payer funds? Does the program benefit only the select few who happen to income-qualify, or is there a greater public benefit to all the rest of us who are footing the bill? Perhaps most importantly, should these affordable housing projects include nice amenities, or just provide for the basic necessities of life?
These questions, abstract and remote last July when I first read the diatribe of Taxpayers and Taj Mahals, came into sharp focus recently when one of our own projects came under fire from Utah’s tax-credit administering body for providing too many amenities. Suddenly my positions on the issue, previously certain and dogmatic, found themselves on shaky ground.
To read the rest of the post, please visit the Enterprise blog.