Preserving affordable housing is inherently resource efficient – the greenest building is the one that already exists. Retrofitting existing affordable housing to increase energy efficiency and conserve water creates green jobs and healthier homes, and also leads to lower utility bills and operating costs.
Galen Terrace Apartments in Washington, DC, is a prominent example of green preservation.
Once a deteriorating property, Galen Terrace was saved by a handful of courageous residents who were determined not to be forced from their homes. They organized the Galen Terrace Tenants Association to exercise their right of first purchase under D.C. law, and chose the National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation and Somerset Development Company to help them acquire the- Section 8 property and make substantial green improvements.
In 2007, Galen Terrace re-opened as the first rehabilitated property in DC to meet all of the green criteria under the Enterprise Green Communities Initiative and the city’s new green building requirements.
Learn more about the many green improvements made to Galen Terrace by taking an Online Interactive Tour today. For this tour, the National Housing Trust has created a 3D replica of the building, and has highlighted all of the energy and water conserving improvements.
Caitlin Uzzel serves as public policy associate at the National Housing Trust.