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

Press Release  |  October 10, 2019
The toxic chemicals used in fire retardants and non-stick cookware have been found in artificial turf carpet, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and The Ecology Center. This raises new public health and environmental concerns.
News  |  September 27, 2019
Retired cancer doctor, Ecology Center Health Leadership Fellow alumna, and environmental health champion Elaine Chottiner discusses PFAS public education and legislative advocacy.
News  |  August 29, 2019
The discovery of toxic per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in many Michigan locations, the fear and concern these chemicals have stirred, and the difficulty posed to government officials and the public on how to respond feel familiar to those residents 50 and over.
News  |  August 29, 2019
On July 29, the Ecology Center participated in a community scientific forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss a range of concerns about the ongoing use of crumb rubbers. At the forum, the Ecology Center presented lead testing results from four playgrounds in D.C.  
Press Release  |  May 6, 2019
New test results show elevated lead in rubber shred at playground in Washington, D.C.
News  |  April 30, 2019
As organizers and advocates of the Breathe Free Detroit campaign along with earlier campaigns, Ecology Center staff have been fighting for the closure of the Detroit trash incinerator for many years.  You may be wondering why it's closed now after so many years.