1789 Agnes Street home with the walls up. These are built using green technologyConstruction is underway on two homes in the first phase of Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) Near-Net-Zero Urban Village in S. Cumminsville. The initiative aims to bring advanced green technology to low-income working families who have traditionally been excluded from the sustainable energy market.

“WIN’s Near-Net-Zero Urban Village will help improve the housing stock, help residents build equity and wealth, and increase neighborhood stability,” said WIN Executive Director S. Barbara Busch.

The 50-unit project includes constructing 25 new homes and upgrading 25 existing owner-occupied homes with energy efficiency enhancements. So far, 15 homes have undergone retrofitting. According to U.S. Government Low-Income Energy Affordability Data, low-income households spend 6% of their income on energy which is three times higher than that for non-low-income households. Busch explained, “By lowering homeowners’ energy costs you improve their ability to manage expenses. This is especially important for seniors on fixed incomes. Having safe, affordable living spaces allows them to age in place.”

This project not only focuses on energy efficiency but also on creating healthier living environments. “Nearly 70% of homes in our neighborhoods were built before 1939 and lack proper insulation and ventilation. The cutting-edge green technologies will improve air tightness and ventilation, keeping out pests, pollen, and pollutants. This is especially important given the neighborhood’s proximity to I-74, where traffic contributes to noise and pollution,” noted Busch.

Overall, the Near-Net-Zero Urban Village project serves as a model for future sustainable development in other communities, demonstrating how cutting-edge technologies can be leveraged to benefit low-income families and create healthier, more stable neighborhoods.

For those interested in learning more about the process and benefits of green building, WIN is hosting a Near-Net-Zero Home Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, July 9 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at 1789 Agnes Street in S. Cumminsville. Lot parking is available at 3726 Llewellyn Avenue. RSVP at 513.541.4109 ext. 111.