Climate change and affordable housing are connected in more ways than we might think.
According to The Ventura County Star newspaper commentary, “The buildings in which we live and work are the second-biggest source of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions in California. More sustainable and energy-efficient building construction is a crucial pathway toward meeting emission reductions.”
Andrew Pattison and Nicholas Birck spotlight a connection between two significant challenges, affordable housing and climate change, pointing to how low-wage earners tend to spend more of their income on utility costs. Older, multi-family buildings are often less energy-efficient than detached single-family homes. And, they note, “higher density has less intense utility consumption overall per unit.”
They also observe that well-constructed affordable housing may have better air quality and promote healthier habits, such as walking and biking.
“We need more affordable housing,” the writers conclude. “We need more sustainable housing. Sustainable affordable housing is a win-win.”