"It's clear that embedding green principles into all facets of neighborhood revitalization leads directly to results consistent with LISC's mission of helping to build sustainable communities that are better places to live and work," said Greg Maher, LISC's senior vice president for lending. "Lowered operating costs, increased household income, and the improved health of children – these are direct results of green-focused development."
LISC has encouraged its community development partners to design and build energy- and resource-efficient buildings since 2004. According to LISC, these designs help connect neighborhoods to green job opportunities in design and building trades; support healthier lifestyles by exposing residents to fewer toxic substances; provide schools with better learning environments; increase property values; and reduce utility costs.
The San Francisco Bay area LISC launched Green Connection, a program designed to educate new housing developers about green building principles. The program also sets out to incorporate green capital improvements and maintenance practices into existing properties.
In addition, a Boston LISC branch partnered with New Ecology Inc. to create a "green screen" assessment tool to help developers take advantage of greening opportunities in their projects. And in Duluth, LISC is involved in a number of green building projects, including a solar demonstration model home and a 70-unit supportive housing building serving the homeless population.
LISC also supports similar efforts in a number of other cities and rural areas.
Madeline Fraser Cook, a national expert on green and sustainable design techniques, will head the new LISC development center. Cook has managed the greening of affordable housing developments and guided developers through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process.