The excerpt from their book, Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing, describes how Greenway Cohousing managed to merge green building with affordability.
Greenway Park is one of the first cohousing projects created exclusively for low-income residents (most such projects are for middle- to upper-middle-class residents, and a few are mixed income) and is structurally a rental project (most cohousing raise construction funds by preselling units). Also, the building is the first affordable housing project in Chicago to have no professional manager. Greenway Park is self-managed by its residents, and future tenants are selected by current tenants.
The developers did great work to get grants and state funding to support energy efficient design for heating, cooling, and electricity. They knew that affordability doesn’t just mean low purchase price or rent, but also low cost for utilities.
Greenway Park’s green efforts focused on an integrated approach that incorporated a package of energy-efficient building practices, the deliberate substitution of a variety of green building materials for their more conventional counterparts, and a 2.4 kW rooftop photovoltaic system.