A Green Future With Housing For All? Of Course It Can Be Done. But It May Take Baby Steps

Pillsbury A factory building in Minneapolis before restoration and conversion to LEED standard affordable housing for artists
Pillsbury A Mill photo by Paul VanDerWerf is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Yes folks, it is possible to renovate older buildings to a LEED standard and provide affordable housing. This one was completed by Dominium, in Minneapolis.

A fear looming ever bigger and nastier on the horizon is the possibility that affordable housing demands will clash head on with steps necessary to prevent an environmental catastrophe as global warming changes our sea level and our climate.

“We need to be realistic. Providing affordable housing for all is just too expensive.”

“We need to realistic. Preventing climate change is beyond our capabilities.”

Where does this kind of so-called ‘realistic’ thinking leave towns and regions and cities that are facing a growing need to do not just one or the other, but both? And at the same time.

For those prepared to mobilize resources and search for new solutions, the future is not all bleak. The link that follows is an interview with a Minneapolis non-profit dedicated to building and managing affordable housing. Aeon has begun to experiment with ways of both saving money and addressing environmental concerns by improving the energy efficiency of its existing buildings. Great expectations have produced some successes. As well, the housing developer has found it necessary to head back to its drawing boards in order to modify proposed solutions, or try different ones.

Follow Aeon‘s learning experiences in the Star Tribune: A Minneapolis Affordable-Housing Developer Tried To Up Its Energy Efficiency Game. Here Is What It Learned.


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