Across the United States, the story is the same: demand for affordable housing far exceeds supply. Some agencies are forced to choose the cheapest materials in the interests of housing the greatest number of people.

We see an opportunity here. By investing in sustainable features, affordable housing sites can save money on utility costs -- especially energy -- and improve the health of residents. 

To test out this idea, the Ecology Center is assisting the Ann Arbor Housing Commission with two new affordable housing projects that are intended to be model examples of green and healthy residential construction. The project will take place from spring of 2014 through late spring or summer of 2016.

The two proposed building sites will repurpose land in Ann Arbor currently being utilized by the AAHC. The existing buildings, which are primarily single-family detached homes, will be replaced with higher density attached townhouse-style units, adding more units to AAHC’s portfolio and more healthy, green homes for people who need them. In addition, this project addresses the question of “What is quality affordable housing?” and how we can better serve residents and communities.

Following the success of earlier programs, such as the Environmental House demonstration center and the Michigan Renewable Schools Program, the Center’s Green and Healthy Homes program is showing how we can maximize energy efficiency and cost effective energy investments, reduce or eliminate toxicity, and integrate highly durable materials into affordable homes to benefit residents and communities.

Published on January 19, 2017

News

Governor Whitmer
Press Release  |  October 27, 2021
An executive directive issued by Governor Whitmer today to limit the purchase of products containing PFAS by the state of Michigan. The directive sets a national precedent for state-level procurement policies focused on toxic chemicals and human health.
Image of black nonstick fry pan
Press Release  |  October 6, 2021
A new study by the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff Lab, “Still Cooking: An Update on Toxic PFAS in Cookware Products,” found some cookware manufacturers still use PFAS coatings on their nonstick products, despite claims that their pans are free from certain PFAS chemicals.
Capped with Toxics
Press Release  |  July 13, 2021
A new report by the Toxic Free Food Campaign in partnership with Ecology Center Healthy Stuff Lab titled “Capped With Toxics” found toxic chemicals called ortho-phthalates in more than one-third of the 141 beverage brands tested. Market leaders are switching to safer bottle caps,
News  |  May 28, 2021
Ecology Center found PFAS in all tested fertilizer and compost products. Check these products labels to find out the source of the materials. Ingredients listed as “biosolids” and “residuals” are code words for sewage sludge.
Press Release  |  May 25, 2021
Many home gardeners buy compost or commercial soil amendments to enhance soil nutrition. But new tests reveal concerning levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in fertilizer products which are commonly made from sewage sludge.
Press Release  |  March 30, 2021
The latest annual report card scoring retailer actions on toxic chemicals is out. About 2/3 of the companies have made progress over the last year.