Green affordable housing initiative wins grant


The GreenHome Institute assisted Well House with the rehab of this 1,055-square-foot, four-bedroom home, which received a LEED Gold certification. Courtesy GreenHome Institute

A local nonprofit focused on green housing has received a grant from a foundation for its affordable housing initiative.

The Grand Rapids-based GreenHome Institute, or GHI, said last month it won a $28,200 grant from The Wege Foundation in Grand Rapids.

The grant will help fund the organization’s Grand Rapids Green Affordable Housing initiative.

Greening affordable housing

The initiative helps residential developers get access to education, training, resources, credentials, energy modeling and certification services to help ensure families have affordable utility costs and healthy living spaces. 

The initiative operates under the belief that spurring development in greener affordable housing projects will also put more money in the hands of people who need it and reduce health care costs through healthier living spaces.

The program requires developers to follow a third-party green certification, such as LEED for Homes, the DOE Home Energy Score or a few other programs. This helps give them access to certain incentives and ensures projects meet high-level water, energy-efficiency and health standards. 

GHI also offers certification through its GreenStar Certification program.

In addition to the Wege grant, the organization also receives funding for the initiative through fee-for-service revenue for administering LEED and other certification programs.

The program is free to affordable housing clients in the Grand Rapids area, but fees do apply to clients outside the area.

GHI started its Grand Rapids Green Affordable Housing initiative in 2014. To date, the initiative has assisted developers on more than 500 projects.

Informational meeting and courses

The GreenHome Institute is hosting a kick-off informational meeting tonight on the program from 6-8 p.m. at the Inner City Christian Federation in Grand Rapids, at 920 Cherry St. SE.

The organization will also be hosting introductory courses on green building all year and working hands-on with developers, along with funding their green certification costs. 

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