Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program

USGBC Offers Grant Program for Sustainable Community Home Builders

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A lack of affordable housing remains one of the most critical problems facing metropolitan regions across the country.  According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, over 6.5 million low income families spend more than 50% of their incomes on housing and utility costs.  Further burdening low income families is the fact that less expensive housing is often located far from job centers and transit, which results in even higher costs for housing when transportation costs and increased vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are considered.  LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) encourages locations that reduce VMT and are proximate to jobs and services by foot or transit.  With reduced transportation costs and the option to walk or ride to work, school, or local services, LEED-ND projects with affordable housing can bring the environmental benefits such as green homes and infrastructure, health benefits such as walkable streets, economic benefits such as new jobs, and social benefits such as new parks and access to fresh food to low income and working families.

With generous support from the Bank of America Foundation, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is pleased to offer a grant program that recognizes affordable housing developers who are committed to building sustainable communities.  The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program will award grants and provide educational resources to affordable housing developers and related public agencies who choose to pursue LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development certification. Preference will be given to qualifying projects that meet additional goals, including the redevelopment of infill and previously developed sites, effort to strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods, commitment to engage stakeholders in the development process, and the provision of green housing for a range of income levels.  

2012 Grant Program


A review committee of industry leaders will award ten LEED-ND registered projects with an Affordable Green Neighborhoods grant. Each grant award includes:

  • A $25,000 cash award, to be used to pursue LEED-ND certification;
  • Refunded LEED-ND project registration fee by GBCI;
  • $300 discount on national membership to the U.S. Green Building Council;
  • One LEED-ND Reference Guide;
  • One registration for a LEED-ND online training/webinar;
  • Registration for one LEED-ND workshop;
  • Access to USGBC technical assistance and monthly conference calls;
  • One registration for the National Affordable Green Homes & Sustainable Communities Summit in San Francisco, CA.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2012 grant period will be accepted from May 24 to August 10. The electronic application form includes detailed instructions and elegibility requirements for applicants. Any questions and completed applications can be directed to

>> Download the application form here.


May 24, 2012: Application period opens.
August 10, 2012: Application period closes. All applications must be received by this date (5 p.m. PT)
September 14, 2012: All applicants will be notified of their status.
November 2012: Education resources will be provided to grant recipients.
November 13-14, 2012: National Affordable Green Homes & Sustainable Communities Summit in San Francisco
November 13, 2012: Afordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program convening in San Francisco
February 2013: Monetary grants will be distributed.

Learn More

Affordable Green Neighborhoods FAQ
Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program Webcast
The LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System
Neighborhood Development Resources
GBCI LEED-ND Certification Page

2010 Grant Program


On November 16, 2010 USGBC and the Bank of America Foundation announced the following recipients of the 2010 Affordable Green Neighborhood Grant Program during the Affordable Housing Summit at the 2010 Greenbuild Conference and Expo.

>>Download Full Press Release


  • "LEED-ND Isn't Just for Luxury Housing Developments" - Sustainable City Network (5-1-2012)
  • "City, APM, & Jonathan Rose Companies Break Ground on Mixed-Use Transit-Oriented Development" - Press Release (4-10-2012)
  • "The Village at Market Creek Achieves LEED-ND Silver Designation" - Press Release (3-13-2012)
  • "‘Walkable’ Steps Into Spotlight" - The New York Times (12-01-2011)
  • "Plan to revitalize and rebuild Sunnydale gets green award" - SFGate (11-30-2011)
  • "An Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program Recipient is Reimagined in San Francisco" - USGBC Blog (11-30-2011)
  • "Ten affordable neighborhoods-in-progress will design to LEED-ND standards under grant program" - Grist (11-30-10)
  • "Clackamas County trying to rejuvenate stranded community" - Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce (12-22-10)
  • "WA Group To Redesign 1700-Home Sunnydale Public Housing Community in San Francisco" - BusinessWire (2-10-11)
  • "Score One for the Green Guys" - USGBC Blog (4-14-11)
  • "Wyandanch Rising: Community Revitalization" - USGBC Neighborhood Development Update (April 2011)