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NEW YORK CITY-Enterprise, a provider of affordable housing and innovator in green building, has partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to bring green affordable housing development and preservation to scale locally, and in the state. To help achieve this goal, Enterprise also issued a challenge to government partners, foundations and financial institutions to contribute to a $30-million Green Fund, which supports the company’s commitment to create and preserve 15,000 environmentally friendly homes for low-income New Yorkers through its national Green Communities initiative.

“Enterprise believes that environmentally friendly housing is a necessity–not a luxury–in low-income neighborhoods,” notes Doris Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners in a prepared statement. “With this unprecedented $30-million challenge and our partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative we will be able to expand significantly our efforts to make all affordable housing healthier, more efficient and more sustainable.”

Green building is especially important for low-income people, who suffer disproportionately from high energy costs and environment-related health issues, such as asthma, caused by living in unhealthy environments, the statement explains. As residential buildings are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, environmentally friendly affordable housing also plays an important role in combating the adverse effects of climate change.

According to Enterprise, its commitment to green 15,000 affordable homes will have a direct impact on the environment, reducing carbon emissions by 400,000 to 500,000 tons over 10 years. In addition, the initiative will result in a savings on utility costs of $850 to $1,200 for each green affordable housing unit that is rehabilitated and preserved as green.

A recent list of the “Top 10 Green Cities in the US,” released by the EarthLab Foundation, New York City ranked No. 2 behind Chicago, so it is no surprise that the New York City Council has already committed to donating $3 million to the Enterprise’s Green Fund. Enterprise’s overall objective is to green all affordable housing in New York City and New York State by advocating for policy changes that encourage green building, and making available innovative financial products to help pay for any additional costs associated with going green. Enterprise also provides technical assistance and grants to affordable housing developers, architects and contractors for green projects.

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