SOURCE: Citizens Housing Corporation

April 19, 2007 06:00 ET

Low-Income Housing Development Wins Environmental Award Shows Green Building Can Be Affordable

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2007 -- Citizens Housing Corporation, a non-profit developer of low-income housing, announced today that its Folsom/Dore Apartments is among the very first new affordable housing developments in the United States to receive a LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is the highest standard for achievement in sustainable development. Folsom/Dore, which received a LEED silver rating, is the first new housing development of any kind in Northern California to be LEED rated.

"Citizens Housing has shown that green building can be done affordably, while providing housing for the neediest," said San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, who will speak at a ceremony at the building at 11 a.m. today to unveil the award. "I congratulate Citizens Housing for being pioneers in green building and for providing safe, affordable housing for low-income San Franciscans."

The building is made of many recycled materials, including flooring materials containing 50 percent recycled vinyl and wood powder. The interiors are made up of environmentally friendly finishes to maintain air quality and reduce off-gassing. These green building techniques, along with many others, were crucial for the building to succeed in the rigorous LEED evaluation.

"Citizens Housing is pleased to be the first housing developer in Northern California honored with a LEED rated project," said James Buckley, president of Citizens Housing. "As one of the first new, affordable housing projects in the nation to receive a LEED rating, we hope to set an example for others. Green buildings not only help fight global warming by using less energy, they directly improve air quality for the building's residents, neighbors and construction workers."

Folsom/Dore houses a mix of low-income and formerly homeless residents in 98 units and offers supportive onsite services for its residents. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was an early supporter of the project. The San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing provided $8.8 million in financing. Additional funding sources included: state Multifamily Housing Program funds, Federal Home Loan Bank funds, Citibank credit enhancement, and Apollo Housing Capital tax credit equity. Operations are also subsidized through the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and HUD's McKinney Act and Section 8 project-based funds.

The building is located in San Francisco at Folsom Street & Dore Alley, between 9th and 10th Streets. It was designed by David Baker + Partners Architects with Baker Vilar Architects and was built by Cahill Contractors.

About Citizens Housing Corporation

Citizens Housing Corporation is a non-profit housing developer incorporated in 1992 to increase and preserve affordable housing opportunities for low-income Californians. Citizens Housing's current portfolio includes over 3,000 units, more than 90% of which are affordable to low-income seniors and families earning between 30% to 60% of the area median income. Their diverse portfolio includes transitional housing on a former naval base, reuse of historic buildings for affordable senior and family housing, renovation of HUD Section 8 expiring use properties, supportive housing for people with special needs, and mixed-use, transit oriented developments. For more information, please visit www.citizenshousing.org.

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