CHFA Head of the Class in Green Building

CHFA Head of the Class in Green Building

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) has earned an A grade for its green building requirements from a national environmental organization. The recent Global Green USA report ranked CHFA’s Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) and its corresponding Design and Construction Standards first out of all 50 states. CHFA’s QAP earned 48 points out of a possible 55, making it the “Greenest” Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program in the nation.

CHFA’s score for 2008 represented an improvement for the authority since Global Green’s USA initial study in 2005. At that time, CHFA was already making it a priority to develop more comprehensive standards for the design and construction of all affordable multifamily housing financed through CHFA. By 2007, CHFA had developed separate green Design and Construction Standards in addition to its QAP.

CHFA’s goal is to develop safe, affordable housing that serves the needs of its residents with as much quality, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability as possible, says Timothy F. Bannon, CHFA president and executive director. The authority’s Design and Construction Standards represent a consensus standard of national and regional building codes, design practices and processes, as well as construction means, methods, and materials. Elements of national and regional green residential rating system guidelines have also been incorporated—including Energy Star Home (U.S. Dept. of Energy), LEED for Homes (U.S. Green Building Council), Model Green Building Guidelines (National Association of Home Builders), Green Communities Criteria (Enterprise Community Partners), and others—without additional costs. According to Bannon, CHFA field observers are on-site throughout the development’s construction to monitor for compliance, and CHFA’s architects review contract documents for conformity with standards.

Global Green USA’s QAP evaluations focus on smart growth, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and health protection. In addition, bonus points can be earned for meeting analysis criteria in three or more categories, and for referencing established Green Building programs.