Climate-Smart Housing is Our Future
Housing equity and climate change are at the heart of our work, so we’re excited to be building The Aurora on SE 160th and Stark, scheduled to open in early 2023. This new affordable housing community will have 93 affordable apartments with technologies that will reduce environmental impact and prioritize resident wellbeing:
- heat-recovery ventilation systems that capture energy before it’s lost, to heat indoor fresh air;
- a rooftop solar system that will cover the building’s entire common electricity load;
- electric-vehicle charging stations;
- centrally heated water;
- climate-smart features galore, including energy-efficient windows, robust insulation and envelope design, and low-flow fixtures; and
- Forest Sustainability Council–certified wood in the building interior.
The economic benefit to residents when we reduce energy loads is important and substantial, too. Residents’ utility bills should be about 45% lower than is typical in new affordable housing. And since The Aurora is two blocks from the MAX and adjacent to high-frequency bus transit, residents will have climate-smart transit options, which we’ll support through annual transit passes and other incentives.
We’ve also retained some of the established native Douglas firs, while removing invasive species and making space for plenty of new trees. Considering the concrete expanses we live amid, this careful approach is essential for residents and neighbors – especially as we ride out the next extreme-weather events.