Climate Tech + Community = A Winning Housing Strategy for Nola?


credit: Flickr

"We want homes that last longer than eight to 10 years," says Avra van der Zee, COO of Hawaii-based nonprofit Elemental Excelerator, which has teamed up with New Orleans' Finance New Orleans to create a $2 million fund to create affordable, sustainable, and climate-responsive housing in the city.

The challenge, called the NOLA Affordable and Resilient Homes Challenge, is unique because it includes a community and stakeholder engagement phase that began in March to ensure there is meaningful local input in solution selection and deployment, reports the Times-Picayune.

After the community input has been gathered, technology applications would be explored.

The homes will feature innovative clean-energy and water-efficient technologies, including 3D printing, containers, and other nontraditional elements.

"We have a lot of good energy, a lot of faith," says FNO CEO Damon Burns.

"I feel good about where we're going."

The fund will be augmented by an investment of up to $200,000 from Elemental, including technology, and an opportunity for a larger investment of up to $1 million.

Together, the duo created a $2 million fund and launched the NOLA Affordable and Resilient Homes Challenge to obtain community-centered financing to deploy climate technologies in new and retrofitted single-family homes

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