WASHINGTON, DC – September 23, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The summer edition of Evidence Matters, HUD’s quarterly publication that informs the public on issues related to housing and community development, is available today. This issue focuses on strengthening the evidence behind sustainability, a concept that while embraced by many businesses, government and families, still faces some skeptics.
“If we want sustainable policies and behaviors to be more widely adopted, advocacy is not enough. The justification for sustainability must be self-evident to everyone,” said Raphael Bostic, HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “HUD has made sustainability one of its key strategic goals. This edition of Evidence Matters helps build the knowledge base necessary to foster private investment in technologies that make our homes and communities more sustainable.”
Reducing home energy consumption, which accounts for 22 percent of U.S. energy consumption, is key. The magazine’s lead article, Quantifying Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Rental Housing, focuses on the sluggish pace of energy-efficiency improvements in the multifamily rental housing sector, an issue that continues to vex advocates of sustainability. The article looks at steps being taken to resolve these challenges, including efforts by HUD and its partners to increase and standardize the data on the impacts of retrofits.
In another feature, Measuring Sustainability, the authors review how sustainability has been defined and measured during its brief history, and how fast-moving advances in the field are allowing governments, businesses and individuals to look at it in a new and more comprehensive manner. For example, location efficiency is a thriving area of research regarding metrics because it ties together the travel and economic impacts of projects.
The article Confronting the Future: Case Studies in Regional Planning and Consensus-Building describes the techniques used by regional planning organizations in Salt Lake City and Sacramento to build strong and broad support for their sustainability initiatives. Their examples show how solid, credible data, combined with the ability to connect the data to people’s values, go a long way.
In an effort to promote a new generation of data-driven and evidence-based policymaking, HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research launched Evidence Matters in February. It is a quarterly publication intended to inform housing and community development advocates, state and local policymakers, Congress and researchers on new approaches to issues related to housing and community development. Evidence Matters is an objective, unbiased publication intended to inform the broad housing and community development field on future policy directions based on research and data – in short, the evidence.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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