Section Highlights

Green Organization Program Links

To help NeighborWorks network organizations implement green approaches in a systematic and comprehensive way, NeighborWorks America established criteria for an organization’s overall management and operations as well as each of the major NeighborWorks-supported program areas. Summary of the NeighborWorks Green Organization Guidelines >>



Foundation Communities’ M Station Apartments is the first LEED for Home Platinum community in Texas. Residents benefit from solar energy, low utility costs, and close proximity to public transportation


    The NeighborWorks Green Organization Designation covers the following ten sections:

    Click on a section to see an example from one of our green organizations.


  • Sections 1 & 2: Organizational Commitment and Operations
    The NeighborWorks Green Organization designees exemplify this through engaging their board and staff, developing green management plans and communicating their green agendas and accomplishments. Many have also created internal green teams to help coordinate educational activities for their co-workers.

  • Section 3: Homeownership Education and Counseling
    Organizations with pre- or post-purchase programs for homeowners have a meaningful impact on consumer awareness of green topics such as energy efficiency and water conservation and consumers’ ability to make decisions that are healthier for themselves and their families and more financially sustainable. Green Organization designees successfully incorporate these concepts into their education curricula.


    • To better cater to the vast cultural and ethnic diversity in the area, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership uses culturally relevant methods and materials to help renters and homebuyers understand the importance of a healthy, well built home environment, including in-house presentations and bi-lingual educational opportunities.
    • The Primavera Foundation (Tucson, AZ) expanded their green homebuyer education to all customers in Primavera's Financial Fitness, Homebuyer Education, and newly starting Post-Home Ownership Education workshops. The new curriculum will include the three core principles of energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy indoor environments.
  • Section 4: Lending
    Home improvement lending plays a pivotal role in the green rehabilitation of existing homes. With the right financial tools and green education, homeowners can begin to create healthier and more durable homes for their families while saving money well into the future by reducing their energy and water bills. Organizations that succeeded in integrating sustainable principles into their lending programs offer and market lending programs that enable homeowners to implement green rehabilitation and retrofits on existing homes.

    • Homewise (Santa Fe, NM) provides Energy Saving Home Improvement Loans to help homeowners create more energy efficient, healthy indoor environments for their families. Qualified home improvements include energy efficient cooling systems, high efficiency furnaces, solar electric and hot water and other energy saving improvements.
    • Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (Ithaca, New York) allows some local homebuyers to benefit from energy efficiency improvements with its Energy$ense Loan Program. Upgrades include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, heating and cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, air sealing, windows, photovoltaic solar systems and even wind turbines or geothermal systems.
  • Section 5: New Construction
    Green building makes housing more affordable to own and operate, healthier and more comfortable to live in and helps preserve the environment. Using an integrative approach to designing and building, the NeighborWorks Green Organizations have constructed multifamily and single family developments that use fewer resources and save money for the residents that reside in them.

    • Foundation Communities’ (Austin, TX) M-Station, constructed on a remediated Brownfield site, is the first LEED for Homes Platinum community in Texas. It includes an on-site childcare facility, clothes care center, computer lab, community learning center, sports court and pavilion and is located at the heart of one of Austin’s transit-oriented districts.
    • The Unity Council (Oakland, CA) developed Fruitvale Transit Village, one of the first affordable housing, transit-oriented developments (TODs) in the country. By developing the high quality housing next to a multi-modal mass transit hub, with direct access to Bay Area’s major employment centers, residents have an easy alternative to driving.
  • Section 6: Multifamily Rehab
    Because the scope of the rehabilitation varies with the needs of the property, greening most existing properties require integrating healthy sustainable homes principles with the early phases of planning and construction. For the majority of rehabs completed, NeighborWorks Green Organizations conduct comprehensive green assessments of the properties and maximize opportunities to create more efficient, durable, and healthy environments for their residents.

    • Community Development Corporation of Long Island (Centereach, NY) has administered the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to Nassau and Suffolk Counties’ residents for more than 25 years. It was the first organization in New York State to include WAP-funded energy efficiency upgrades in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program acquisition and rehabilitation of multifamily projects.
    • Knox Housing Partnership, Inc. (Knoxville, Tennessee) developed  the  Dutch Valley View complex,  a LEED for Homes Gold project, replacing a blighted, foreclosed four-unit complex with a new six-unit property that is not only sustainable and energy efficient, butaffordable as well.
  • Section 7: Single Family Rehabilitation
    Rehabilitating single family homes rather than building new ones keeps waste out of landfills and provides an opportunity to reduce the use of new materials. It also provides an opportunity for NeighborWorks organizations to incorporate more efficient and healthy improvements into older homes. NeighborWorks Green Organizations incorporate green specifications and have paid special attention to weatherizing and replacing antiquated systems, making the single family homes in their communities healthier, more comfortable and less expensive to run.

    • NeighborWorks Western Vermont (West Rutland, VT) focused a $4.5 million Department of Energy grant to help at least 1,000 homes save at least 25 percent in energy costs. Since 2010, NeighborWorks has provided energy audits to nearly 1,300 homes and retrofits to more than 406 homes. Their program saved homeowners $580,000 in one year on energy costs.
    • Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services, Inc. (Ontario, California) greens their single family home rehabilitations to maximize water conservation by replacing lawns with drought-tolerant gardens. Native, low-maintenance plants that require little water and are compatible with drip irrigation systems are included in the landscape designs.
  • Section 8: Asset and Property Management
    The NeighborWorks Green Organizations use effective and environmentally sustainable property management techniques to ensure that newly constructed green buildings and developments maintain the high performance standard they were intended to achieve. Green asset management strategies also improve the performance of buildings and extend the life of existing assets that were not originally built or renovated using green approaches.

    • Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services (Cambridge, MA) built a rigorous asset and property management plan using a full time energy planner and WegoWise software to evaluate specific developments in energy and utility savings. CNAHS focuses on incorporating technical energy efficiency consumption at all properties, and ensures the use of environmentally sustainable building materials and renewable energy sources.
    • Homeport (Columbus, Ohio) requires third party property management companies to follow its Energy Conservation Program.  Asset Management at Homeport is not only about property development and management, but also rebuilding and sustaining the neighborhoods and environment. 
  • Section 9: Owner and Resident Awareness
    Educating owners and residents about energy and water saving behaviors not only positively impacts the overall conservation of resources; it empowers residents to take action promoting sustainability throughout their community. NeighborWorks Green Organizations have succeeded in educating their clients on how to maintain a more efficient, healthier, and more comfortable living environment.


    • Community HousingWorks’ (San Diego, CA) bilingual Green 360⁰ Curriculum is designed to create energy-efficient residents of all ages. The curriculum includes age-specific activities, reviews of bottom-line benefits, technical examples and useful green lifestyle tips that go beyond home maintenance and teach residents how to live healthier lives.
    • Twin Cities Community Development Corporation (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) worked with the city of Fitchburg to pass a recycling ordinance and ran an education campaign to help residents become accustomed to the new recycling rules.
  • Section 10: Community Building and Organizing
    The NeighborWorks Green Organizations that participate in NeighborWorks America’s Community Building and Organizing Program realize they can achieve “deepest green” by empowering their residents and encouraging them to shape the future of their neighborhoods and communities. Through energy efficiency workshops, urban gardening projects and community based planning and design initiatives, NeighborWorks Green Organizations are directly linking sustainability to community engagement activities.


    • New Kensington Community Development Corporation’s (Philadelphia, PA) Sustainable 19125 has gained national recognition for this program to make its zip code the greenest in the city. So far over 1,000 households have committed to more sustainable lifestyles by using energy efficient light bulbs, participating in neighborhood events and working with their neighbors and elected officials create a healthier, safer community.
    • PathStone Corporation (Rochester, New York) implemented Green for Gold, a program designed to train residents in high poverty areas who are unemployed, have been incarcerated, or lack a high school diploma in the green jobs sector. Working in Rochester, New York, Scranton, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, PathStone has served over 1,500 residents, and also had its program featured on a radio episode of NPR’s “This American Life.”

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