The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that the State of Vermont is being awarded a $250,000 grant to produce new affordable, energy efficient, green housing. Vermont will use its grant to support a local community-based affordable housing developer to create these new homes which will feature a sustainable site design, water-conserving fixtures, energy-efficient appliances/lighting, and environmentally friendly building materials.The funding announced today is awarded through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the nation’s largest block grant program to support the production of affordable housing.”This grant will help to create a new generation of housing that will offer residents more than just an affordable home,” said Mercedes MÃ¡rquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. “Working with our partners at the local level, our goal is to produce more, smarter, and certainly greener affordable housing for future generations of families.”The State of Vermont, through the Vermont Housing Conservation Board (VHCB), will use its grant award to fund a local Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to construct ENERGY STAR-qualified affordable housing. Upon completion, all assisted units will be certified by an independent HOME Energy Rater (HER) as meeting the ENERGY STAR criteria. VHCB will ensure that its CHDO uses a sustainable site design; installs water conserving fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and lighting; uses a renewable energy source; uses environmentally beneficial materials and practices; implements a construction waste-management plan; uses low VOC paints and sealants and formaldehyde-free composite wood; uses mold prevention techniques; and gives residents an instruction manual that provides information on how to maintain the Green features of their homes.Source: HUD. 4.6.2010###HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet atwww.hud.gov(link is external) and espanol.hud.gov.