HAND Member Spotlight: An INNOVATOR Working to Reduce Prince George’s County’s Carbon Footprint with Green Housing: Prince George’s County’s Redevelopment Authority
The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RDA) is playing a leadership role in the County’s efforts to create and promote sustainable development and solutions to 21st century global environmental challenges. This past summer, the RDA completed extensive renovation on the first Net Zero Energy House in the County, and is excited about showcasing this home as a testament to what homebuyers in Prince George’s County can expect in the future: superior energy savings, water-efficiency and a healthy living environment.
A quasi-governmental agency, the RDA is part of the triumvirate of the County’s Department of Housing and Community Development (PG DHCD) – which also encompasses the Housing Authority – and provides services in areas of development, redevelopment, revitalization and preservation in targeted communities. Notably, RDA offers down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, infill redevelopment of existing properties, neighborhood stabilization/blight eradication as well as grant support for capital improvements by County based non-profit organizations.
The RDA is helping to reduce the County’s carbon footprint by producing green and sustainable models for new construction and substantial rehabs of aged housing, through its Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative and partnerships with local affordability housing developers. Located at 3413 Glenn Drive in Suitland, the first net zero house in this program is a three-bedroom, two full bath home originally constructed 100 years ago. Situated within the Suitland/Coral Hills Transforming Neighborhood Initiative area, the home produces as much energy annually as it consumes, effectively minimizing the utility bill to virtually zero.
“We are very pleased with the results of this renovation,” said Howard Ways, executive director, RDA. “In addition to its efficiency, the house is located within walking distance to the Suitland Metro Center and the Suitland Federal Center.”
The Net Zero Energy House is priced to sell at $316,800 with creative homeownership assistance offered by the RDA to increase affordability among moderate income buyers. During the 12-month renovation, the home was retrofitted with solar panels, which provide its renewable energy source, a solar hot water heater, an HVAC mini-split system and energy-efficient windows, doors, fixtures and appliances. Additionally, it features environmentally friendly landscaping, rain barrel water catchments and permeable pavers, and sustainable building materials such as bamboo flooring in the living room and dining room areas. Aesthetically, the house offers 42-inch kitchen cabinets with granite counter tops, cultured marble double sinks, tub and separate shower, his and her closets, patio doors that lead to a backyard deck and much more.
Energy Star and LEED Platinum compliant, this house will be featured as a Greenbuild Offsite Educational Tour Site in the upcoming Greenbuild International Conference and Expo this November. Greenbuild is the largest sustainable building event in the U.S. and HAND is proud to be a 2015 Greenbuild Regional Partner for this premier event.
For the RDA and PG DHCD, it is through connections like this that underscore the value of a HAND membership. Membership allows the agency to engage with other organizations in the region that are pursuing the same goal – to build affordable housing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area – and to celebrate collective accomplishments. HAND helps the RDA too develop new partnerships and re-connect with organizations it has worked with in the past. Its membership also provides the agency an opportunity to explore new ideas and learn about the latest trends.
HAND is pleased to spotlight Prince George’s County’s Redevelopment Authority which certainly contributes to our organization’s COLLABORATION, INNOVATION and TRANSFORMATION within the metropolitan area!
Interested in seeing the Net Zero House first-hand now? Take a peak.