Westside Housing Organization receives National Recognition!

For Immediate Release 12.18.12 Contact: Sonya Shifflett-Bly: sshifflett@westsidehousing.org

Westside Housing Organization is One of First Designees to NeighborWorks America’s Comprehensive “Green” Program New Program Recognizes Commitment of NeighborWorks Organizations to Sustainable Business Practices, Resulting in Savings and Better Environments for Thousands of Low- and Moderate-Income Families Kansas City, MO – Westside Housing Organization in Kansas City, a NeighborWorks America member organization, is one of 16 organizations to receive the NeighborWorks Green Organization designation for a comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations from NeighborWorks America, based on adherence to a set of green business practices across the organization’s operations and all of their program areas. NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald presented Westside Housing Organization with the award on December 11 in Washington, DC. This is the first time NeighborWorks has recognized organizations for their efforts to create healthier, energy efficient environments for homeowners, renters, community residents, and employees.

Westside Housing Organization’s mission is to build robust sustainable communities. We work with residents, local businesses, and key stakeholders to build sustainable communities that are safe, affordable, and healthy places where diverse people want to live, work, and play. Westside Housing Organization demonstrates the principles of sustainability in all lines of business and the communities we serve. This organization is wholly committed to green practices. Over the past 18 months, Westside Housing Organization has completed a series of extensive energy efficient upgrades on our affordable apartments and office building. These upgrades included large repairs such as installing energy efficient siding, windows, and roofs, as well as smaller repairs such as air sealing apartments and installing water saving devices on the plumbing. These upgrades are predicted to reduce energy use by 30% and water use by thousands of gallons across our portfolio. These upgrades are good for the environment, and will ensure that these buildings will remain community assets for the long term. More importantly, the upgrades will keep the cost of living for our workforce families affordable, and allow the organization to use more resources to provide service to our community.

“We believe that for a home to be truly affordable, it must be energy and resource efficient, as well as safe and clean.” –Gloria Ortiz-Fisher, Executive Director

NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“NeighborWorks America is honored to recognize Westside Housing Organization as a leader in creating healthier and more sustainable homes and communities,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald.

The NeighborWorks Green Organization designation is significant because it challenges organizations to be comprehensive in their green efforts. By embracing a sustainable business culture, they produce benefits to thousands of individuals through homeowner education, housing development activities, and community engagement programs. Collectively, these activities help reduce energy consumption and costs, create healthier living and working environments, and promote sustainable communities.

NeighborWorks America’s goal is for two-thirds of NeighborWorks America member organizations to receive a green designation by 2016. As a result, more than 100,000 residents in NeighborWorks rental properties would have better information on managing healthy, energy-conscious homes; more than 25,000 low- and moderate-income families annually would possess the knowledge and skills to assess the homes they are buying for green, healthy features; and 6,000 owner-occupants each year would receive healthy, energy-efficiency home repairs.

For more information on the green designation, and to see the complete list of designees, click here. For more information about NeighborWorks America, go to nw.org.

About Westside Housing Organization

Westside Housing Organization is one of the oldest and most respected community development corporations (CDCs) in Kansas City, Missouri. It is the only CDC in Kansas City, Missouri to include a significant focus on serving residents living in Latino communities, advocating on a range of social, political, and sustainable housing issues. WHO has served additional neighborhoods over the years, always maintaining focus on the unique identity of each community we serve. Utilizing strong partnerships, individual attention, and committed leadership, we have created an effective organization focused on results. Westside Housing has created sustainable change through the investment of more than $38 million into our target service areas in our 38 years of existence. Westside Housing operates 3 lines of business: affordable multifamily housing, affordable home repair and new construction, and community building and organizing. We currently operate on the Westside, Center City, and Northeast Kansas City.

About NeighborWorks® America

For nearly 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

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