- Housing should be part of the climate change agenda because we have a powerful opportunity to attack housing instability and climate change, together.
- Zoning policies have not only contributed to the affordable housing crisis, but to our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Through Built for Zero, communities have proven it is possible to end homelessness. More extreme weather events make this critical work even more difficult. The time to act is now, before the next natural disaster.
WATCH: Why Housing Must be Part of the Climate Change Agenda
Housing should be a part of the climate change agenda for one simple reason: we have a powerful opportunity to attack housing instability and climate change, together.
Zoning policies have fueled not only the affordable housing crisis, but contributed to our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Zoning policies have limited the development of multifamily housing in denser urban areas. These policies are pushing affordable, stable housing out of reach of so many — but the consequences don’t end there.
These restrictive policies also contribute to our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from commuters who rely on cars can be 15 times higher than people who live in denser urban areas, who can live closer to jobs and public transportation. We can drive significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by enabling more housing to be built in our nation’s cities.
Another bold solution is expanding and harnessing the full power of private foundations through social impact investments. In the United States alone private foundations hold more than $1T in assets. If every philanthropic foundation invested 10% of their holdings in mission related investments with returns of 3% or below, $100B would be available for social impact financed innovations in areas such as housing and climate change.
In our own work, we have seen how this type of social impact investment can be harnessed to make housing available to individuals experiencing homelessness in a fraction of the time and the cost that it takes to work through public tax credit programs.
In Philadelphia, we are working with a large family office that has committed a 3% equity investment to purchase aging rowhouses, convert them to 100% solar electricity and lease them to low income families at affordable rents. By unlocking the power of low-cost, mission aligned investments, we can invest in a future that includes stable, net-zero housing across all of our communities.
According to the Global Citizen, natural disasters result in 14 million people losing their homes globally, each year.
The time to act is now, before the next natural disaster.
According to the Global Citizen, natural disasters result in 14 million people losing their homes globally, each year. Through Built for Zero, communities have proven it is possible to create systems designed to end homelessness. More extreme weather events, however, simply push us further away from the goal of a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. We can’t afford to wait.