Lyndhurst, N.J. - At the Green Building Summit yesterday, Department of Community Affairs Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman positioned the New Jersey Green Homes Office as a national leader in the production of affordable green housing.

“At DCA, we are dedicated to investing in our communities for a better New Jersey,” Commissioner Richman said.  “We achieve that goal through a variety of innovative programs that create quality, affordable housing for residents.  Our Green Homes Office stands out by creating energy efficient, environmentally-responsible affordable housing that is accessible to all of New Jersey’s hardworking families.”

The New Jersey Affordable Green Program is the only statewide green affordable housing program of its kind in the country.  Over the last five years, the program has increased the use of innovative green materials, and design and building technologies in over 2,000 affordable homeownership and rental units in the state. 

The voluntary program provides $7,500 per unit in funding, and offers technical assistance and training in green building design.  The initiative has also become a national model for green affordable housing, where staff regularly assists other states in the development of similar programs. 

The success of the Affordable Green Program has also lead to rules that will require developers of all affordable housing units within the State of New Jersey to meet minimum green requirements, with the option to receive additional funding to develop a higher threshold of green affordable housing units.  Rules will be published by the end of the year.    

Also during the Summit, Commissioner Richman announced the New Jersey High Performance Homes Plus Program, a comprehensive and voluntary residential construction rating program that will advance high performance home building and renovation in New Jersey.  The program is designed to support the green efforts of market rate builders.

High Performance Homes Plus will establish a state green building standard and promote whole system, energy efficient building practices among builders and educate consumers about the advantages of the features in their homes.  The program will coordinate with other national green building programs to address bioregional issues, and provide New Jersey builders and residents with a one of a kind program tailored to the specific needs of the State.  This program will be available the summer of 2006.

DCA’s Green Homes Office encourages the use of innovative green design and building technologies, raises the bar on building standards, and creates a consumer demand for efficient and environmentally responsible high performance homes. 

The Green Building Summit was sponsored by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.  For more information about the Summit please log on to