Terner Center Report Examines Policies for Decarbonizing Affordable Housing

Date Published: 
March 26th, 2024

A new report from the Terner Center looks at the existing research on climate and housing in the U.S. in two key areas: how housing decarbonization and production strategies can reduce pollution to mitigate climate change, and how climate change impacts renters, homeowners, and the broader housing industry. The paper also identifies key research gaps where more evidence would help policymakers navigate the tensions between different policy approaches. 

The report addresses the need for energy-efficient housing and building decarbonization to reduce emissions. The report stresses the importance of equitable decarbonization strategies that consider the financial viability of affordable housing and the challenges faced by low-income and BIPOC communities. These strategies include educating homeowners on the benefits of adopting energy-efficient appliances and energy usage, weatherization of properties, passive building design techniques, and integrating renewable energy systems into properties. 

The report concludes by identifying gaps in research and policy, particularly in the areas of land use, housing density, and the role of housing in mitigating climate change. It calls for more studies to inform policies that balance climate goals with housing affordability and accessibility, and to understand the impacts of climate change on housing. 

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