Today Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) is pleased to announce the Big Reach Report, which documents the collaborative’s seven-year initiative advancing environmental sustainability in affordable housing. Launched in 2013, the Big Reach was an initiative of SAHF, its 13 members, and partners to achieve a 20% reduction in energy and water consumption across the SAHF member portfolios by 2020. We are proud to announce that we not only reached our goal, but we exceeded it with a 29% reduction in energy consumption and 24% reduction in water consumption against our 2010 baseline and based on available data.
The report covers how to operationalize and scale green building strategies as well as how organizational change and partnerships can enable affordable housing providers to reach big on sustainability. SAHF members pursued a multitude of approaches that demonstrated that mission-driven affordable housing providers can move the needle on sustainability in affordable housing and improve living environments for residents through investments in capacity, collaboration, policy advocacy, behavioral approaches to efficiency, and a myriad of building upgrades. The Big Reach initiative offers learnings for how to pursue ambitious environmental goals and how to scale green building practices within the multifamily affordable housing sector. It lays the groundwork for our next mission – an equitable, low-carbon future for all.
-Rebecca Schaaf, Tawechote Wongbuphanimitr, and Andrea Ponsor