A Newsletter of ARC's Green Communities Program

October 2016


Meet the New Green Face of Affordable Housing

Volunteers for National Public Lands Day

F. Kaid Benefield, The Huffington Post

When you think of “affordable housing,” what’s the image that comes to mind? For lots of people, including many of those most in need of it, the picture is not a pretty one: it’s a scene of dreary, deteriorating high-rises or shabby, poorly constructed “garden” apartments with no garden in sight. Moreover, the projects come with lots of safety concerns, placed in “the wrong part of town.” Environmentally, they may be plagued with poor air quality, peeling paint, energy inefficiency, unkempt grounds, and litter.

There’s an unfortunate stigma associated with affordable housing in the US, particularly with publicly subsidized housing; and, if the reality frequently isn’t as awful as the reputation, I’m afraid the reputation is also grounded in more than a little truth in more than a few places. The stigma has been well-earned over time. What you are likely not thinking about, when you think of affordable housing, is state-of-the-art green design that would appeal not just to people of limited means but to others as well.

Discover innovations in green affordable housing here...

Green Communities Spotlight

Green Affordable Housing Incentives
(Green Communities Measure #6)

This measure awards points to local governments that offer incentives specifically for affordable and workforce housing entities that seek green building certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes, EarthCraft House, EarthCraft Multifamily, and ENERGY STAR. The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as housing that costs no more than 30% of a household’s monthly income.

The City of Woodstock offers incentives for building affordable green housing developments for workforce housing. Incentives include expedited reviews plus a 10 percent reduction in permit fees for projects that are EarthCraft House, EarthCraft Multifamily or Energy Star certified. The building permit fee is reduced by 25 percent for LEED for Homes Certified Projects.

Make it Personal

Create a Green and Healthy Home

  • Grow plants indoors – Live plants around your home act as natural air filters, and some plants are particularly effective absorbers of harmful pollutants emitted from home furnishings and finishes.
  • Choose non-toxic cleaners – Find eco-friendly alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners, which can cause health problems and pollute the environment as well.
  • Plant an edible garden Grow your own salad greens, veggies, and herbs. A garden can help reduce soil erosion and reduce air pollution. Aim to plant a plot that doesn't use a lot of water and tend your garden without using toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Find more ways to create a green and healthy home here...

Sustainability News Clips

Green news from near and far

One Gwinnett city extended its farmers market through the winter

Suwanee is getting Gwinnett County's first bike share program

Atlanta ranks 5th in green building survey

Atlanta named one of 50 Best Bike Cities

Atlanta among cities that turned a new leaf to count the ROI of trees

Decatur lays out plan to install – and asks for patience regarding – new LED streetlights

Decatur sets new record for International Walk & Roll to School Day

MAC congratulates the 2016 Atlanta E3 Awards winners

Communities find economic value in parks

Measuring walking access to parks

One way to add open green space to your city and do it really cheaply

Fostering community sustainability from the ground up

How to create and integrate a sustainability strategy

Energy reduction a 'contact' sport

New EPA web portal helps locals prepare for climate change

The economic argument for switching to renewable energy

How waste amnesty days help cleanup municipalities across the country

Before joining the bike-lane craze, consider this

How your community's green footprint can impact our future

Capital Cascades Crossing Bridge heralded as most eco-friendly pedestrian bridge in the U.S.

Energy analytics campaign launched for commercial buildings



Get Green for Going Green

Upcoming Sustainability Funding Deadlines

Georgia Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant
Applications due Oct. 31

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant
Applications due Oct. 31

RWJF Culture of Health Prize
Applications due Nov. 3

Every Body Walk! Micro Grants
Applications due Nov. 18

AmeriCorps Grants 
Letter of Intent due  Dec. 7

Walk Friendly Community Designation 
Applications due Dec. 15

Walmart Fdn. Community Grant
Applications due Dec. 31

Ford Fdn. Sustainable Development Grant
Applications ongoing

Kresge Fdn. Healthy Housing & Neighborhoods Initiative
Applications ongoing

SolSmart Community Designation
Applications ongoing


Green by the Numbers

  • 640,000: number of children that visit the ER because of asthma in one year
  • 9.2: billions of dollars saved nationally by property owners and tenants due to energy efficiency upgrades
  • 50: percent of households requesting federal aid after Hurricane Sandy that had incomes lower than $30,000

Green Affordable Housing  Infographic


Sustainability Happenings

PEDS Golden Shoe Awards
Oct. 25 | Atlanta

Cities and the Clean Power Plan
Oct. 25 | Webinar

2016 SEEA & AESP Southeast Conference 
Oct. 25 & 26 | Atlanta

Urbanist Movie Night: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 
Oct. 26 | Atlanta 

What Do Local Decision-Makers Need to Adapt to a Changing Climate
Oct. 27 | Webinar

Sustainability in the City of Raleigh 
Oct. 27 | Webinar 

ARC State of the Region Breakfast 
Oct. 28 | Atlanta  

The Use and Benefit of STAR Certification 
Nov. 1 | Webinar

Leaders Growing Community Gardens Clayton Workshop 
Nov. 4 – 5 | Morrow 

Safe Routes to School and Health 
Nov. 7 | Webinar 

November Green Drinks 
Nov. 9 | Atlanta 

Atlanta City Studio Book Club 
Nov. 9 | Atlanta 

The National Energy Efficiency Registry 
Nov. 10 | Webinar

Kid’s Recycle Day at CHaRM 
Nov. 12| Atlanta

GAWP 2016 Fall Conference 
Nov. 15-16 | Dalton

CNU-ATL Urban Talk 
Nov. 17 | Atlanta

The Green Matters e-newsletter is designed to give you a glimpse of important sustainability initiatives happening around the metro Atlanta region and beyond. Whether it's the latest research, new educational offerings, environmental stewardship efforts or potential funding opportunities, this e-newsletter will help you stay abreast of what's happening in this important subject area.