As policy analysts, planners, and developers continue to cope with the ongoing issue of housing affordability, a new report suggests that the move toward increased green construction may serve to lessen the challenge.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, one of the biggest obstacles facing the industry today in its quest to build more affordable housing is the ongoing cost of government regulations.
The report says that regulations in general now add to the cost of the average single family home by at least 25 percent, with multifamily units seeing a more than 30 percent increase.
According to the NAHB report, How Green Building Can Boost Housing Affordability, government incentives offered for green construction may provide a counterbalancing economic force in the home building industry.
“State and local jurisdictions, and even a few public utilities, provide advantages to builders throughout the design, construction, and ultimate sale” of a defined green home.
As a result, many of those same jurisdictions “have been successful in incentivizing green home certification with rebates, tax credits, density bonuses, and other tangible benefits.”
The report goes on to note local policies in such states as Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Vermont that have in recent years offered a variety of incentives for green home construction projects.
The question of building more affordable housing has in recent years become an NAHB legislative priority both in Washington and the states.
Earlier this summer, Greg Ugalde, NAHB chairman, urged Congress to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in order to provide more flexibility in financing affordable housing projects.
By Garry Boulard
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