When Richard Morgan first conceived of a program to teach carpentry skills to at-risk youth, he didn’t intend for it to be a cutting edge environmental project. Through the American Institute for Learning, an adult education center in Austin, Texas, where Morgan works, he hoped to set up a cabinet shop that would serve as an apprenticeship program.
But when the city’s Environmental and Conservation Services Department heard of Morgan’s plans, it suggested an environmental spin. Why not build energy-efficient, sustainable housing for low-income people? Morgan was intrigued, and the result is Casa Verde, a model “green” construction program that has multiple benefits for low-in-come people.
A three-bedroom “sustainable” house was built last year as a pilot project and sold to a low-in-come family for $40,000. With its successful completion, Casa Verde received funding both as a HUD YouthBuild program and an AmeriCorps program… Read the rest