Virginia Ties for 5th in Nationwide Ranking of Green Affordable Building

News Release                                                        

November 8, 2012                                         

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     


Stuart Raper, Director of External Affairs

EarthCraft Virginia


Brian Matt, PR Manager

Virginia Housing Development Authority





Virginia Ties for 5th in a Nationwide Ranking of Green Affordable Building

The Virginia Housing Development Authority Finds Success Using the EarthCraft Program


Richmond, VA – November 8, 2012 – Global Green USA, a national environmental organization, has awarded the state of Virginia an “A-” score based on an analysis of green building criteria in state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAP), each state’s guidelines for allocating Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The report, released yesterday, places Virginia in a tie for 5th in the nation with Georgia, a significant advancement from 27th place in 2010.


Virginia’s high ranking can be attributed to the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) commitment to sustainable affordable housing by incentivizing the use of the EarthCraft Multifamily Green Building Certification program as part of their QAP for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. “VHDA chose EarthCraft as one of our QAP green building options because of the comprehensive guidance it makes available for developers of both single and multifamily affordable housing,” said Susan Dewey, VHDA Executive Director. “The certification process follows a checklist designed to verify that each EarthCraft development addresses site planning, energy efficient techniques and equipment, waste management, and indoor air quality.  Any size or style of unit can achieve EarthCraft certification by meeting the flexible guidelines. As a result of this program, 100% of VHDA’s competitive tax credit projects chose to certify under EarthCraft for the third year in a row.”


Global Green’s ranking confirms that VHDA and EarthCraft Virginia are leading the green building charge for multifamily low-income housing in the Southeast, along with Georgia, where the Southface Energy Institute first developed the EarthCraft program.  The true beneficiary of this partnership is the resident as, on average, EarthCraft Virginia projects incur a 40% energy savings over pre-construction and a 25% improvement over new construction energy codes in addition to delivering improved air quality and increased comfort within the unit. This unique third-party approach ensures public and private investments towards sustainable and vibrant communities within the state.


“We are so grateful for the opportunity to work closely with VHDA, a relationship which allows us to deliver the EarthCraft benefits to so many who need it the most,” said K.C. McGurren, EarthCraft Virginia Executive Director. “We are proud to be a part of Virginia’s progress towards sustainable, affordable, resource and energy efficient construction.”


About the Virginia Housing Development Authority

VHDA is a self-supporting, not-for-profit organization created by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1972, to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing. VHDA provides mortgages, primarily for first-time homebuyers and developers of quality rental housing. We use no state taxpayer dollars, but raise money in the capital markets to fund our loans. We also teach free homeownership classes, and help people with disabilities and the elderly make their homes more livable. VHDA works with lenders, developers, local governments, community service organizations and others to help put quality housing within the reach of every Virginian.

In 2012, VHDA celebrates our 40th anniversary. We’re grateful to our business partners, customers and others who have shared in our mission over the last 40 years — and we look forward to serving our fellow Virginians for many more years to come.

For more information about VHDA, please visit us at

About EarthCraft Virginia

EarthCraft Virginia, a 501c3 non-profit, was established in 2006 in partnership with the Home Builders Association of Virginia and Southface Energy Institute with assistance from the Virginia Community Development Corporation.  The EarthCraft House program, originally founded in 1999 by non-profit Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, serves as a blueprint for energy and resource efficient homes build in the Southeast.  Throughout the Southeast the program has certified over 7,000 homes and 13,000 multifamily dwelling units.  For more information on EarthCraft or EarthCraft Virginia, please visit and


EarthCraft Virginia’s partners include Southface Energy Institute, the Home Builders Association of Virginia, Habitat for Humanity of Virginia, and Virginia Housing Development Authority.


About Global Green

Global Green USA – the American arm of President Gorbachev’s Green Cross International –  was founded in 1993, and is a national leader in advocating for smart solutions to climate change that benefit humanity by saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions, improving health, creating green jobs, and securing a more sustainable future. For more than 18 years, Global Green has greened nearly $20 billion in new school and affordable housing construction; authored multiple state and national laws and policies on green building, climate change and energy-efficiency; and responded to environmental disasters from hurricanes, to chemical weapons dumping, to sea level rise and the melting of the poles. Global Green is the only national environmental group headquartered in Southern California and has offices in New Orleans and Washington, DC.


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