Global Green Grades States’ QAPs on Green Building Criteria
The Green Urbanism Program of Global Green USA has released its 2016 analysis of state Qualified Allocation Plans. Its report analyzes Green Building criteria in the low-income housing tax credit program. Ohio was the only state to receive a perfect score while Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. all received As and Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Colorado, California and Indiana received A- scores. Wisconsin and Texas received the only Fs.
Global Green reviewed and graded four criteria including: Smart Growth, Energy Efficiency, Resource Conservation, and Health Protection. Global Green Vice President Walker Wells noted that “In 2016, nearly three-quarters of all state agencies incorporated smart growth principles and energy efficiency standards into their Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) that determine how tax credits can be allocated for affordable housing developers, the majority of funding for such projects nationwide. Over half of the states’ QAPs now include resource conservation and health protection strategies.”
Utah made the single greatest improvement, from a D to a B+, based on the state becoming eligible for the performance scoring pathway. Making a similar leap, Tennessee improved its score from a D to a B. Not only does Tennessee’s QAP now suggest LIHTC recipients achieve third-party certification, but 100 percent of projects this year committed to certification through the Green Communities Initiative. More than three-quarters of LIHTC award recipients committed to achieving third-party certification through LEED or the Green Communities Initiative this year.
Through the review of the 2016 QAPs, several emerging trends and best practices in green design were identified, along with new areas of concern and opportunity. Based on its review. Global Green developed the following recommendations:
- Require benchmarking and monitoring of energy, water, and solid waste;
- Continue to expand the application of criteria related to proactive health strategies;
- Update the definition of Revitalization Plans used in QAPs to include current innovations in neighborhood planning and district-scale sustainability;
- Establish a common standard for addressing resilience in the context of affordable housing design and construction.