CLEVELAND - Mayor Frank Jackson announced the approval of $ 4.6 million in financing for 10 green development projects through the 2008 Housing Trust Fund allocations in an effort to press forward in his administration's goal to have "green building" as a key part of Cleveland's revitalization strategy.
Another objective of this effort is reducing energy costs for all Clevelanders, particularly for senior citizens and low-income families.
"The print, radio, and TV media has served notice that utility companies are expected to raise energy costs later this year," said Jackson. "I would like our citizens to know that the city is taking the lead in making sure we can offset a portion of the proposed increases through the City's Housing Trust Fund Green Projects initiative."
Green building and design involves using practices that reduce building operating costs, eliminate unhealthy building materials, conserve natural resources, and contribute to improved regional land use patterns. It is Cleveland's intention to work with developers to implement green building practices to the fullest possible extent.
More than 64 percent of the funds allocated through the 2008 Housing Trust Fund went to projects that have committed to satisfying a green standard of construction. These 10 projects are expected to bring on line an additional 654 units of affordable and energy efficient housing.
The Cleveland Housing Trust Fund makes available low-cost development financing for housing to be constructed or substantially rehabilitated within the City of Cleveland. A Request for Proposals is advertised annually during the month of February with a mid-March deadline. Basic program elements include:
- Considering both rental housing and for-sale residential developments as eligible for consideration
- Accepting proposals from both for-profit and non-profit developers
- Giving preference to projects that will address affordable housing needs or contribute to a strategic approach to revitalization of a distressed neighborhood.
Half of the green projects also reflect Cleveland's focus on rehab or renovation of existing housing. The 2008 Housing Trust Fund green incentive was designed to create a bridge between past construction practices and full implementation in January 2009 of the green building program announced by Jackson in November 2007 at the Enterprise Community Partners national conference.