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DOE Selects Nonprofit for Housing Innovations Award

Mutual Housing California was selected by the DOE for a 2015 Housing Innovations Award. The nonprofit was honored for its Zero Energy Ready Home development, Mutual Housing at Spring Lake in Woodland, Calif.

The 62-apartments and townhomes for agricultural workers were chosen in the multifamily category.

The other categories are custom, production, and affordable housing.

“The DOE knows there is one chance during home construction to lock in critical performance measures that can take the homeowner experience to a new level of efficiency, comfort, health, and durability,” a statement the DOE released said. 

“But it will take housing industry leadership to provide this opportunity to all Americans. That’s why DOE proudly recognizes Mutual Housing California as one of our nation’s select 2015 Housing Innovation Award winning builders paving a path to the home of the future, today.” 

The development primarily was financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development funds. It also received funds for the development from the City of Woodland. 

Congressman John Garamendi, who spoke at the recent opening of Mutual Housing at Spring Lake, said that zero-net energy communities are good for the economy as well as the environment.

“Mutual Housing at Spring Lake is the first rental housing development to receive the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home certification,” said Garamendi. “This accomplishment proves that it is possible to bring the benefits of green building to renters. Children in rental housing deserve healthy homes. I’m thankful that Mutual Housing—in partnership with the USDA and the City of Woodland—has provided that.” 

A zero-net energy community, Mutual Housing at Spring Lake staff also expects to receive a Platinum LEED certification.

“The green revolution is here,” said Rachel Iskow, Mutual Housing California chief executive officer. “Homeowners are finding healthy, zero net energy homes on the market. Now our goal is to bring the benefits of green building to renters throughout the country. The Department of Energy is to be applauded for showcasing this breakthrough development.”

Woodland was chosen as a place to build housing for agricultural workers because of its central location to farming in the region.

“Having access to green, affordable housing is of great benefit to the community, and in particular, agricultural workers in the area, both through reduced utility expenses and healthy homes,” said Paul Navazio, Woodland City manager. “We commend Mutual Housing for building such a sustainable community in Woodland--and we are proud to have contributed to helping make this vision a reality.”

Additional funding came from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, California State Treasurer John Chiang, Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Community Fund, Roseville Bank of Commerce, Dignity Health—Woodland Healthcare, Bank of America, Comerica Bank, U.S. Bank, Union Bank of California, Mechanics Bank and Insperity.

Citibank, NeighborWorks Capital and Wells Fargo are lenders for the Woodland project.

Founded in 1988, Mutual Housing California develops, operates and advocates for sustainable housing for the region’s diverse households.

A member of NeighborWorks America—a congressionally chartered nonprofit that supports community development nationwide—Mutual Housing has more than 3,000 residents, nearly half of whom are children.

Through its focus on leadership, the nonprofit provides training and mentoring as well as educational programs, community-building activities and services for residents and neighbors. 

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