IMPORTANCE OF GREENING AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
WHEREAS, nearly 17 percent of a low-income family's earnings are consumed by energy costs; and
WHEREAS, the greening of public housing will not only lower utility costs for low-income families, but also create healthier, more vibrant home environments for families that live in public housing developments; and
WHEREAS, buildings are responsible for almost 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption, with residential housing accounting for more than half of this total; and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2005 the residential sector also accounted for 21 percent of U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, a major cause of global warming; and
WHEREAS, green building in public housing will promote environmentally smart site planning near public transportation and other community resources, energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of environmentally beneficial building materials that foster healthier outdoor and indoor environments; and
WHEREAS, a number of cities have already incorporated green building criteria into their affordable housing programs; and
WHEREAS, Congress included funding for green building assistance in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), H.R. 1, that passed with strong support from the U.S. Conference of Mayors; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the Administration to support continuing funding for federal programs that assist local governments implement and expand green building production in their communities, such as those included in ARRA, including the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, the Green Retrofit for Multifamily Housing program as well as the extension of the tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes.