Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Lenders’ Property Standards and Energy Efficiency: The Vital Link for Affordable Housing


March 2014

Community Development Investment Review

Energy efficiency is an important attribute of affordable housing. Whether housing is, in fact, affordable for an individual or family depends not only on the nominal rent or mortgage payment but also on expenses such as utility payments, transportation costs, and home maintenance. Even if the nominal rent or mortgage payment appears to be affordable, low efficiency housing can be expensive after accounting for energy expenses. Improving energy efficiency can reduce the total cost of housing, making housing more affordable for the occupant.

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