CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Himes Initiative Makes Green Housing More Affordable

May 13, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC--- Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today along with lead sponsor Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) announced the Green Resources for Energy-Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Act, legislation they crafted that closes the gap between the cost of “green” development and traditional building techniques. As economic growth has slowed, consumers face the twin burdens of a sagging housing market and rising energy prices. This legislation will spur the construction of energy efficient housing around the country.

“Smart investment in simple technologies can save families thousands every year and help reduce our entire country’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Congressman Jim Himes. “This bill will make environmentally-friendly building more accessible and save us all money in the long run.”

The GREEN Act will save families money by reducing energy bills, create healthier living situations, and protect the environment from the harmful effects of fossil fuels used to heat homes and provide electricity. Congressman Himes authored a portion of the bill that encourages banks to help new homeowners invest in improvements to make their homes more energy efficient. Specifically, the GREEN Act provides a government-backed “green guarantee” to provide the additional capital necessary to facilitate up-front investments in sustainable design elements that reduce energy usage and costs in the long run. The bill also requires that new and renovated public housing projects meet more stringent energy-efficiency requirements. This provision will ensure low-income families do not have exorbitant utility bills and reduce energy use overall.

“This legislation proves that it is easy to be green.  This bill helps revitalize our economy by making energy efficiency practices more affordable, accessible and achievable by consumers, businesses and government entities,” said Congressman Perlmutter. “By prioritizing energy efficiency practices, we can ease the woes of homeowners, lenders, financial markets, builders and our environment.”

This timely legislation reflects foresight and the considered input of a broad coalition of housing advocates, home builders, financial institutions, government leaders, developers, and the environmental community. The GREEN Act, (H.R. 2336) is assigned to the House Financial Services Committee. A hearing on the bill is likely to take place later this summer. A detailed outline of the bill follows this release.

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