Residential Research Quarterly: June 2017

USGBC's second quarterly roundup of the top research and news on residential green building offers a new green and energy-efficient home appraisal tool, a lively primer on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, a Department of Energy profile on hurricane-resilient housing and research into the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on American homeowners. 

Appraisal Institute Improves Tool to Aid Valuation of "Green" Home Features | Appraisal Institute

This recently released tool for appraisers will allow realtors and lenders to better analyze, report and understand data for green and energy-efficient homes. The updated Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum will help standardize appraisals for high-performance features and residential properties, including properties with a green certification such as LEED.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: Why They Matter, How They Work and How They Could Change | Zillow

Alexander Casey of Zillow has an excellent primer on Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), a federal tax credit program for rental housing for lower-income households. Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the program has contributed to the acquisition, rehab or construction of nearly 3 million housing units. Learn what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next, given our current political landscape.

In a related story, Pennsylvania added LEED certification to its LIHTC selection criteria, a strong move in prioritizing funding for projects that provide energy-efficient and healthy housing.

Can this House Survive a Hurricane? It SURE Can! | Department of Energy

With hurricane season in full gust, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy published a timely profile of the SURE House, winner of the DOE Solar Decathlon 2015. Designed by the Stevens Institute with residents hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in mind, the SURE House is a resilient, solar-powered modular home ready for life on the coast.

Climate Change and Housing: Will a Rising Tide Sink All Homes? | Zillow

As the White House announced its intent to withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Zillow’s Krishna Rao examines the impact global warming and rising sea levels could have on American homeowners. Her research, based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Zillow data, gives “underwater homes” a whole new meaning. If sea levels rise by six feet by the year 2100, nearly 1.9 million homes—worth a combined $882 billion—are at risk of being submerged.

Labels, Certifications, and Scores, Oh My! Following the Road to Green Real Estate | 2017 Better Buildings Summit

At the 2017 Better Buildings Summit, a national meeting showcasing solutions to cut building portfolio energy intensity, the Appraisal Institute, Elevate Energy and the Real Estate Standards Organization presented a multitude of tools available for greening residential real estate. From The Home Energy Score to green financing products and tools to better capture green features in real estate appraisals, this slide deck outlines new resources available in the growing green residential sector.

If you have suggestions for future studies we could share, please contact Nick Brousse.

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