Living Montana Non-Profit Finds Affordable Living & Green Building Sweet Spot

Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Montana Non-Profit Finds Affordable Living & Green Building Sweet Spot

affordable living complex features green building practices

Yep – this is an affordable housing project… with lots of green features.

Affordable green housing – sounds like an oxymoron, right? Sure, green building creates savings over the long term, but the upfront costs still limit the most efficient and eco-friendly choices to the well-to-do… right?

That’s often the case. The irony of this, of course, is that the savings created by sustainable building practices make it ideal for those who qualify for affordable housing: if you need help making rent, then a building that makes efficient use of utilities will help even more by keeping utility costs down (and perhaps even cutting the amount of time you need subsidized housing). In this context, green building can provide yet another “hand up” to those in need of one.

We’ve seen kind of approach take hold in places like Chicago. But Montana? Yes – Missoula-based non-profit Homeword has taken this approach for nearly two decades. Bus 52 put together a video profile of the inspiring work this community organization is doing:

And what’s Bus 52? According to their “About” page, it’s “a year long project devoted to reminding and reconnecting America to its roots of community, innovation and improvement.” They’re traveling the US in a refurbished school bus looking for stories like this one.

Know of other organizations that see the value of green building for low-income housing? Let us know about them.

Image credit: Screen capture from “Bus 52 Presents: Homeword” video



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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