EPA Administrator Christie Whitman signed a memorandum-of-understanding with Habitat for Humanity International launching a partnership to build energy efficient housing on former brownfields properties. The agreement outlines each organization's pledge to work together to bring this shared goal to completion.
"EPA is proud to be joining Habitat as partners in the effort to make the dream of home ownership come true for families across the country," said Whitman. "This is an excellent opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity to encourage affordable and energy efficient housing on cleaned up brownfields properties."
Whitmas said EPA and Habitat for Humanity have already started working together on sites in Missouri and Minnesota and plan to extend their efforts to five additional urban locations where abandoned brownfields can be turned into affordable homes.
"We also hope that through this agreement we can encourage the use of energy efficient products to not only save money but the environment as well," she added.
EPA worked cooperatively with Habitat for Humanity International's affiliates in the cities of Wellston, Mo., and Minneapolis, Minn., to construct homes on former brownfields properties. EPA and Habitat are currently working together to identify the five additional cities. EPA will use brownfields dollars to perform environmental assessments at community identified brownfields properties so that Habitat can locate safe, affordable building lots.
In addition, EPA through its new authority in the recently passed brownfields legislation may offer cleanup grants to non-profits such as Habitat to provide cleanup funds if the properties are found to be contaminated. In this way, EPA will provide environmental assessment and cleanup support to the Habitat effort to build energy efficient, affordable housing on property that was formerly abandoned or under-utilized.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])