Policies and Programs for Equitable, Healthy & Zero Carbon Buildings

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The City of Grand Rapids, U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan and Urban Core Collective are launching the Grand Rapids Building Policies and Programs for Equitable, Healthy & Zero Carbon Buildings (E.H.Zero). Transforming the way buildings and homes are designed, built, and operated is one of the most important ways a city can support affordable housing, ensure clean healthy air in our communities and increase our resilience to the negative impacts of a changing climate. E.H.Zero will co-create with community policies and programs to equitably decarbonize Grand Rapids residential and commercial buildings and present them to Commission for consideration and hopeful adoption.

Zero Cities Project 

The City’s participation in the Zero Cities Project revealed how carbon emissions are distributed across the Grand Rapids built environment, how disproportionately our Grand Rapids Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities are impacted, and what policy and program options are available to equitably decarbonize our buildings. Now during the E.H.Zero Project we will take the information, relationships and resources developed during the Zero Cities Project and transform them into equity focused policies that are co-created by the community and presented to the City Commission for approval. For more information on the Zero Cities Project click the button below.

Zero Cities Project

Key Objectives and Outcomes of E.H.Zero

Objective 1: Conduct community-wide engagement for commercial building and single-family residential decarbonization, focusing on BIPOC engagement and empowerment.

  • Outcome 1: Educate and engage at least 750 residents (500 of which will be BIPOC) and 500 commercial building stakeholders.
  • Outcome 2: Organize events to educate on how commercial decarbonization affects all commercial building owners and residents.
  • Outcome 3: Share best practices and lessons learned with other cities to replicate success and equitable outcomes.

Objective 2: Create a policy package and implementation plan for building decarbonization that centers and leads with equity and is informed by technical analysis and community engagement.

  • Outcome 1: Complete a building carbon emissions inventory and a city-wide climate vulnerability assessment to inform policy creation.
  • Outcome 2: Establish a set of equitable building decarbonization policies through authentic community engagement.
  • Outcome 3: Create and present a package of equitable building decarbonization policies for City Commission approval.

Objective 3: Promote accessible, healthy and affordable housing for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

  • Outcome 1: Identify a community housing partner.
  • Outcome 2: Create and implement a process to consolidate and educate on available housing resources (finance, energy, carbon, health, safety) for residents to retrofit their existing housing and pursue opportunities to engage with other partners working to produce neighborhood equity through slowing gentrification and promoting BIPOC wealth generation.
  • Outcome 3: Complete a top to bottom and full wrap around residential pilot for five diverse residential spaces and measure the outcomes generated (health, finance, energy, carbon) from this investment.    

Budget and Funding Sources

The total budget for the E.H.Zero project is $1,324,250. So far, we have secured:

  • $600,000 from the Wege Foundation,
  • $150,000 from the Kresge Foundation,
  • $46,428 from the Summit Foundation, and
  • $148,000 of in-kind support from our partners and additional partners at RMI and the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

The funds we have secured so far will allow our project to begin work, while we continue to fundraise for the remaining $379,822 needed to complete our budget.

Ways to Get Involved

Sign up for our E.H.Zero email list by sending an email to EHZero@grcity.us 

Outreach for a housing partner will occur in the near future.